A Made-Up Story That Explains Something That People Do Understand Fairy Tale And Picture Book Farce – The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairy Stupid Tales

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Fairy Tale And Picture Book Farce – The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairy Stupid Tales

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Cieszka Lane Smith is probably one of the most unique picture books ever created, featuring a variety of farcical and humorous retellings of fairy tales. These stories begin oddly on the endpapers with an obnoxious and loud chicken screeching at the narrator, who does quite well by bringing the chicken to the title page in big bold letters.

By using the structure of the book as material for a real story, and discussing it as a book, the narrator adds a new level of humor and wit rarely explored in picture books, though common in fairy tale farces. Scieszka and Smith add a new layer of playfulness though, telling us that no one ever reads the acknowledgments and so they keep them upside down, so we can always stand on our heads if we want to read them. This form of communication appeals as much to older readers as it does to young children, so it’s not uncommon for people in their twenties to talk about how fun they think this picture book is. Somehow Smith and Cieszka’s books seem to appeal to an older audience, even though they still send young children into uncontrollable giggles.

Part of this book’s uniqueness is its illustrations, which are certainly not cute, but rather a form of modern art, often looking like cut-out collages, with characters distorted, prompting children to comment that the chicken lichen’s eyes are wrong, or another part of the picture. This art works well for a number of reasons, firstly it lets the reader immediately know the unique nature of this picture book, a subversion of the fairy tale and picture book storytelling traditions. Second, defacing art helps expose children to the often distorted nature of modern art, such exposure helps expand their own understanding of visual languages. It is also important to realize that the whimsical nature of the art in this book adds to the humorous nature of the stories within it.

When the book begins, with the first story of Chicken Licken, it descends into an almost chaotic verse, where the narrator of the book repeatedly tries to attract the attention of the overexcited characters of this first story, until finally the table reads the contents and squishes all the characters.

Later stories leave this interaction with the third wall and book elements, relying on humor and surprise based on our understanding of the fairy tales they parody. The humor comes from the appearance of the ugly duckling ant for example the ugly duckling that the ugly duckling says it will become a swan but instead grows up to be a really ugly duckling. A similar play to our expectations is seen in The Other Frog Prince, where the frog tells the princess that he is a prince to kiss him. But instead the transform tells him he was just kidding and leaves him to wipe the slime off his lips.

One can certainly wonder about the social implications of these stories as they often do in fairy tales. The frog in the story leaves the princess to wipe the slime of their short-lived relationship from his lips. This is the nature of most relationships; They end, not even with people living together until death, but in divorce or separation long before anyone even thinks about marriage. In many cases one party or the other had no intention of being together, rather the relationship itself was a farce, like a fairy tale where one party lies to the other for the sole purpose of a short-lived relationship.

One might question the nature of real ugly duckling fairy tales, just like real ugly duckling stories. The story derives some of its humor from the fact that we all know that most people will not become swans; Most people fail to fulfill their dreams. The harsh reality is that fairy tale morals do little to alleviate the problem, especially why children should assume that anyone will be great and great. No such assumption of truth is usually forthcoming or justified. Then we must find a way to be beautiful that no one will possibly improve, no different from them at any given moment.

Of course such readings of stories go beyond their primary purpose in humor, but what is humorous in a society is based on the underlying thoughts, events, and emotions of that society. Stinky Cheese Man relies on society’s understanding and cares to be funny. For this reason, although stories may not have direct meaning, they do indeed tell us something about ourselves and our emotional state, even as they provide insight into the fairy tales themselves.

This is exemplified on the last page of the book when the narrator Jack escapes from the monster by leaving the chicken to eat. In the fairy tale, Jack was a very greedy person, robbed the monster many times, had much more than he really needed, and killed the monster when the monster tried to punish him for the theft. Fairytale pretense was then a matter of respect, and this trend carried over into picture books as well.

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