Fairytale Fraud: Sibling War

Reviewed by Deb Marsden, Guidance Counsellor & Secondary School teacher


Pye, K. (2019). Self-published


Most of us have grown up reading fairytales that have morals that have helped to shape our understanding of the world and our behaviours. The traditional Hansel and Gretel tale taught us to not trust strangers and to not disobey our parents, but Kate Pye has twisted the tale to teach different morals and life lessons.

Sibling War sees Hansel and Gretel with a bad case of sibling rivalry and their frustrated father sends them into the woods to learn valuable lessons – how to work together rather than against each other and to find ways to positively resolve conflict. This story has valuable morals to learn, in and of itself, but also comes with lots of additional resources (discussion starters, extension activities, helpful pointers and a constructive process to resolve conflict) that makes it a great little unit to be used in a primary school setting.

Sibling War is one tale in a series of other Fairytales Frauds that Katie Pye has written to cover other moral lessons – Rapunzel retold as ‘Ready for Rescue’ (a conversation about healthy habits), Jack and the Beanstalk retold as ‘A Thoughtless Thief’ (a conversation about considering others), the Billy Goat’s Gruff retold as ‘Trip Trap Trouble’ (a conversation about gratitude), Humpty Dumpty retold as ‘Breaking News’ (a conversation about coping with change), The Emperor’s New Clothes retold as ‘Dressed in the Best’ (a conversation about learning from others).

The Mental Health Foundation's Information Service brings you reviews this Pink Shirt Day on books with bullying prevention themes.

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