Turn your hand to a touch of Hans Christian Andersen magic to create a variety of brilliant fairy tales with this ingenious puzzle game that guarantees a different story every time you play.
“And they all lived happily ever after…” Oh, don’t you just sometimes wish that fairy tales had a quirkier ending? Well, in this ingenious puzzle game, every story can be unique and can take any twist and turn – and final outcome – you choose.
The game contains 20 chunky double-sided puzzle pieces that piece together like a jigsaw to tell a story: you can choose any pieces in any order and they can be mixed and interchanged giving multiple variations.
Royal castles and dark forests, pop-drinking wizards, princesses, giant pink rabbits, red-hatted gnomes, potions and a moped… The puzzle provides a merry menagerie of quirky characters, scenes and props ready for adventures to begin. And your child is the director who becomes master of their destiny
Each scene is depicted with details to inspire the art of storytelling, prompting your child to think about characterisation and plot. Are the characters good or evil – and who says that smiling princess isn’t really a conniving sorcerer, and the witch a kindly but misunderstood do-gooder?
That pot of coffee being poured by the witch might be poisonous, or she might just be an excellent barista. Is that wolf sprinkling salt and pepper on an elf preparing supper, or performing some alternative medicine? There is endless scope to create unlikely and funny adventures – and have a heap of fun into the bargain.
Artist Anne Laval’s illustrations – a blend of pencil and water colours – are the perfect mix of detail and intrigue to get imaginations ticking over and inventing.
Oh, and of course you can end with a ‘Happily Ever After’ if you want. Or, if you fancy a little more intrigue, you can create an altogether more enticing cliff-hanger. To be continued, as they say…
Players Suitable for any number of players, either working collaboratively or independently. There is no winner, though you might like to take turns in picking the ending.
How to play The story starts with your location, either a grand turreted castle with a king and princess waving from the balcony, or a farming family of mother, father, son and hen. (Note: The ‘beginning’ and ‘ending’ cards have curved edges so they can’t be confused with the cards that make up the main part of your story). From here, you simply add a card and advance your adventure according to your interpretation of what is on the card, bringing in all sorts of imaginative twists you like!
With younger players, lead the game and encourage them to contribute by asking questions from the pictures. Once your child has become more accustomed to the game, you can either plot out your story by choosing the cards first – you can also swap some parts around if you like. A more challenging prospect is to shuffle cards after each installment, and pick a card at random.
Fun fact Cinderella was originally nicknamed Cinderwench by her eldest step-sister because she was always filthy from her arduous work and covered in soot from sleeping by the chimney. Her name was adapted to Cinderella by her (slightly) kinder other step-sister.
Did you know? The term “fairy tale” was coined in the late 17th century by Madame D’Aulnoy (1650-1705), a keen collector of folk tales, which she rewrote as entertainments for her Parisian salon. These were centuries-old stories from different cultures which had been passed on orally. Defining a “fairy” as distinct from a “folk” tale is a subject of heated debate among folklorists. However, they all agree that the presence of “fairies” isn’t required for a fairy tale. It was only in the mid-19th century that fairy tales became associated with children.
Good For… Imagination, storytelling, creativity, pretend play, verbal skills, vocabulary, self-confidence, interaction, taking turns and listening.
Keep in Mind… Younger players will need a little help with putting their stories together at first so make it a very collaborative effort. Of course, there are no rules so your fairy tale can take any trajectory you like. Your story will always start at one of the two locations on the ‘opener’ piece, and there is a choice of six endings (on 3 double-sided puzzle pieces).
What Kids Love The mix-and-match mash-up that can be as ridiculous and surreal as your imagination can invent.
What Parents Love This is a wonderful way to encourage creativity and imagination, and a great fun game to play together. There are infinite stories to be told, so this game has excellent play value, but it also helps children think about how stories are structured with a beginning, middle and end – a handy skill for later school projects.
Illustrator notes Anne Laval studied at École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg. She illustrates picture books and other work using colored pencils, watercolor washes and printmaking techniques.