Story Box: Create Your Own Fairy Tales by Anne Laval

Story Box: Create Your Own Fairy Tales by Anne Laval is another marvelously designed,  creativity inspiriting product for kids (and adults) from LaurenceKing. Founded in 1991, Laurence King Publishing is recognized as one of the leading publishers of books and gifts on the creative arts, evident in the subject matter and production of everything they do. Scroll to the end of this review for past reviews of other story-telling-creativity-boosters.
The twenty two-sided puzzle pieces in Story Box: Create Your Own Fairy Tales make for many plots and outcomes. There are two official "start" pieces and three "end" pieces, but you can really start and end anywhere. With a king, castle, princess, witch, peasant boy, beanstalk, wolf and woods, Laval captures the classic tropes we expect when we think of fairy tales. However, her illustrations also are absent of the black and white, good and evil extremes that fairy tales often contain. The witch, despite her black hat, pointy shoes and big nose, is not wicked and the princess, even though we see her peering out the window of a tower in her castle, is not passively waiting for her story to begin. The wolf, however, does appear to have a hankering for elves...
Laval's illustrations are playful and expressive, filled with delightful little details. There is a snake in a red party hat, and a transistor radio and a tiny, blooming cactus pop up from time to time. And, Laval wonderfully flips fairy tale conventions (even beyond a good witch) with a story line that involves ice cream making, an ice cream truck and a little romance between the witch and the king. I found myself creating my own fairy tales over and over that I started to have second thoughts about letting kids get their dirty little hands on it. But, in the end, watching them make up their own stories is worth a few smudges on the puzzle pieces!


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Source: Review Copy

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