Synopsis of “Long Live Us”
Once upon a time, in a cave under a bridge, there lived a Greedy Troll – and he was hungry! How long would he have to wait for his next meal?
Soon he hears trip-trap, trip-trap, trip-trap, and hurries out. He discovers the Three Bears, who are on a quest to capture Goldilocks and bring her to justice. They persuade the Greedy Troll to wait for their return.
Then more fairytale Goodies arrive, all chasing Baddies and planning to bring them back for punishment. Waiting, imagining a feast, the Greedy Troll gets hungrier and hungrier.
Clever traps, lucky escapes and unwelcome surprises combine in this fascinating fractured fairytale.
Take one greedy troll, add a group of Goodies: three bears, three pigs, one princess and frog prince. Add a group of Baddies: Goldilocks, a hungry wolf, a wicked witch and add Jack’s giant for good measure. Mix them up in a fractured fairytale and you end up with a riotous tale told with quirky humour about Goodies and Baddies and crime and punishment. Readers will realise by the end of the tale that a story without baddies would simply be ‘dreary, deadly-dull’.
This is a wonderful read-aloud story that can be dramatised and thoroughly enjoyed by reader and listener. Readers will love the he rhyme and rhythm of the language…’The witch is a crone –all string and bone. But the Princess and her Guy will be yummy as pie.’
Peter Allert’s illustrations are vibrant and full of humour. They entice the reader to check for small details that reveal more about the characters and scenes.
Primary students who are already familiar with all the characters in the book will thoroughly enjoy their new and unexpected adventures.
As an author, it’s always inspiring for me to hear about small independent publishers in Australia willing to team first time picture book illustrators and established authors to produce books that readers will enjoy and that give Australian creators an opportunity to showcase their unique talents.
Long Live Us, from IP Kidz is a perfect example of such a venture. Written by Edel Wignell and illustrated by Peter Allert, it is a fractured fairy tale incorporating some much loved fairytale characters. There are the three pigs, Goldilocks, the Three Bears and of course, the evil troll.
If you prefer your fairy tales told in the traditional way this picture book is not for you. The three bears, one of the three little pigs, and the prince ad the princess come to a greedy troll for help in paying back Goldilocks (accused of ‘trespass, vandalism and theft’), the wolf and the wicked witch. The troll plans to double-cross the so-called Goodies but when they return with their captives the tables are turned and they all have to run for their lives from Jack’s Giant and the Baddies. After exchanging ‘high fives’, they all agree that Goodies and Baddies must learn to live together so that children will not have ‘dreary boring’ stories in the future. In 1997, the first version of this story won a ‘fractured fairy tale’ competition, a phrase that accurately describes this book. The illustrations complement the text, which is set in a large clear type. Ages 4-6.
Combine, one greedy Troll, three bears, Goldilocks, three little pigs, one wolf, one Princess, one Frog Prince, one wicked witch and one giant and what do you get? A seriously zany fractured fairytale about Goodies, Baddies, crime and punishment.
Edel and Peter have created a wonderfully fun picture story book by inventing a new adventure for the characters that we know and love. Children will be delighted as they follow their new antics and discover how a story without any Baddies is no story at all.
Long Live Us is a mixed up fairy tale with characters you would recognise such as the three bears, three little pigs etc – as well as the troll who is only thinking of his stomach. A not so typical tale of goodies versus baddies. Will the goodies be able to outsmart the baddies or will the troll get the better of all of them? It is true that we can do anything when we work together, but not everyone plays fair.
Where would our fairy tales be without baddies? Edel Wignell has taken a different tack on fairy tales with this very good point. All good stories need a bad guy. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but at least it makes for a good story!
Getting a meal can sure be hard work for a troll; no wonder they are so grumpy. This story is filled with tricks and mishaps, and is a good example of the fractured fairy tale. It won the 1997 Holiday Fantasia Literacy Competition for a Fractured Fairy Tale.
A bit of fun for fairy tale fans.