Image result for you read to me i'll read to you very short fairy tales to read together

Citation:  Hoberman, M. (2004). You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together. New York, NY: Little Brown and Company.

Overall Review:

This fairytale book in the You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series covers well-known stories like “The Three Bears,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and more. It opens with an author’s note that advises adults to ensure children are familiar with the original fairy tales because the poems contained in this book take new spins on the old tales. It also discusses who might be suited to the poem plays included. There is also an introductory poem that lays out how the structure of each poem works and how they should be read. Each poem takes on a different fairy tale and provides a new ending, a new point of view, or other twist to make them new and unique. There are also several illustrations for each poem to portray the action being described in the text.

Spotlight Poem:  “Jack and the Beanstalk”
“My name is Jack,
The beanstalk lad.

And I’m the ogre
Jack made mad.

I lost our milk cow
In a trade.

You got give beans.
That’s all you made.

My mother threw them out
That night
And in the morning
What a sight!
A beanstalk grew
That was so tall
We couldn’t see
The top at all.

You climbed it
To the top and then
You stole my magic
Laying hen.

Your hen that lays
Gold eggs. Why, yes.
I stole your hen,
I do confess.

My bags of gold,
You stole them too,
And then my golden harp.

That’s true.

That was a naughty
Thing to do!

Now Mister Ogre,
Don’t be mad.
I do admit
That I was bad,
But we were poor
And hungry too.

You give them back
Or I’ll eat you!

I’ll give them back
If you agree
To sometimes lend
Your hen to me.

You’re asking me
To lend my hen?

Not all the time.
Just now and then.
And also for
A special treat,
Please lend your harp.
It sounds so sweet.

Why, yes, it has
A lovely tone.
But don’t forget,
It’s just a loan!

A bag of gold
Perhaps you’d share?

A half-bag’s all
That I can spare.

Now that’s all settled
And we’re friends
And that’s the way
Our story ends.

Let’s write it down.

Let’s write it now.

We’ll tell about
The beans and cow

And how the beanstalk
Grew and grew

And when our story
Is all through,
You’ll read to me!
I’ll read to you!”

This poem-play is meant, like all the other pieces in this book, to be read aloud by two voices. One player is Jack, and the other is the giant. The simple rhyme scheme and language make it appropriate for even preschool audiences as the story is one with which most children are familiar. It is written to be an accessible and simple read aloud to get children thinking about the ending of Jack and the Beanstalk, compromises, and working together to be friends. If Jack and the giant had reached an understanding, perhaps the ending wouldn’t have been quite as dramatic. The process of sharing poetry and writing it together is the theme of this story, even if it isn’t stated until the end. When a child has a chance to tell their own story, they are empowered and able to share their gifts and views with the world. That is enhanced with the sharing of their poetry with others. That bond is what is at the center of this piece as the giant and Jack share a piece of their side of the story, become friends, and want to continue sharing their stories with each other.

Take 5 Activity:

  1. Read the poem aloud with another person playing the roles of Jack and the Giant.
  2. Ask the class to discuss the original fairy tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and what they know of it.
  3. Read Trust Me, Jack’s Beanstalk Stinks by Eric Braun and talk about how there are many sides to a story and many ways to tell it.
  4. Re-read the poem to the class and let them sit with it quietly for a moment.
  5. Let the class write their own version of this or any other fairy tale.
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