Have you met Nibbles The Book Monster? He’s cheeky, he’s mischievous and he loves books!
Nibbles is author / illustrator Emma Yarlett’s latest character and he wreaks havoc in various fairy stories before escaping from his book. We’re delighted to be part of Emma’s Nibbles The Book Monster blog tour. Thank you Emma for telling us about your favourite fairytales and the stories that you chose to include in Nibbles’ book.
Fractured Fairytales; Which I enjoy reading and why (including the non picked ones)
As a nineties child, many of my favourite fairytales come from watching Disney Videos on repeat. Cinderella, Snow White and Peter Pan are the ones that immediately jump to my mind.
In Cinderella I love the concept of rising from the ashes and fulfilling your destiny. It’s a brilliant theme, and I especially like the idea that love transcends all things; circumstance, hierarchy, society, oppression. I also really like the bit in the Disney film when the Mice make Cinderella’s dress.
Snow White carries similar core principles, although it feels a little darker in theme and content. In this fairytale I really enjoy the relationship between the dwarves and Snow White. The community spirit and care for both one another and nature are the things that really stand out to me.
And Peter Pan… I love, love, love this story. The initial setting in London, the idea of being able to fly, fairies, pirates, mermaids, Neverland… Everything about this story is magical and fantastical. Peter Pan is beyond a doubt my absolutely tip top favourite fairytale
The choices of my favourite fairytales might be considered slightly odd, especially considering none of them appear in Nibbles the Book Monster. But let me explain why none of these made the cut…
When the story concept of ‘A little monster called Nibbles nibbling his way into and through books’ first came into being, the immediate thought for his chosen nibbley book dish was fairytales. This was partly because I like fairytales, partly because they are well known enough for most children to be able to engage with, understand and know and in part because (and this is the very boring reason) fairytales are generally out of copyright… Which means writing a book with them in isn’t an issue.
However this said, not all fairytales are universal nor well liked in other countries. And so the fairytales we picked in the book had to be famous worldwide and also accessible to children the world over… slimming the choices right down.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears was an immediate and obvious choice. Although I personally do not especially like the story (I always couldn’t get past the silliness and selfishness of Goldilocks), it gave me some very famous and well-knows phrases to play with and interrupt, whilst also giving me the chance to redeem Goldilocks a tad from her selfish path… by having a monster reek majority of the havoc in her story, rather than herself.
The second choice of Little Red Riding Hood again was another obvious choice. It has always had a very gothic feel to it in my mind, and I wished to do one of the ‘mini books’ in a black and white (with one additional colour) colour palette. This fitted the bill and I could sense that having the bright yellow little fluff pot that is Nibbles wandering into a gothic landscape could look really interesting. Funnily enough, I’ve never really liked Little Red as a character that much either as I could never get past her silliness either (how could one mistake a wolf for ones’ grandma?!?), and so in a strange way it felt quite fun to have Nibbles stealing her limelight and pushing her aside.
Now the third fairytale was a difficult pick. I really would have loved to have put in one of my favourite fairytales… but unfortunately none of them quite fit the bill. They were still in copyright or didn’t have a strong enough hook for Nibbles to interfere. We did initially have Nibbles interrupting Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by having him appear as an eighth dwarf, but it didn’t have a strong story ending. We also trialled The Three Little Pigs for a long time, and it very nearly made it through into the final book… But again it felt as though it was missing something.
Eventually Jack and the Beanstalk made it’s way on to the table. With its iconic imagery, characters and phrases (“Fee Fi Fo Fum!”) it fit the bill perfectly, and gave me lots of things to play with in style, character and story.
Thank you so much for visiting Story Snug Emma and for writing such a fascinating blogpost. You can read all the other posts on Nibbles blogtour by clicking on the following links;
Highly commended for the Macmillan Prize in 2011, Emma Yarlett began her book career whilst studying illustration at Falmouth University. She now writes, paints, draws, collages, designs, doodles, splatters and sketches for a living from her studio and loves every minute of it! In her spare time Emma loves to eat Jaffa Cakes, craves pets, and suppresses a desire to spend her entire income on colouring pencils.
Win a copy of Nibbles The Book Monster and a soft toy!
Which book on our bookshelf is Nibbles enjoying today?
When you’ve found Nibbles, tweet the title of the book that he is diving into using the hashtag #FindNibbles and include @ in your tweet. All correct answers will go into a hat and the winner of today’s draw will go into a prize draw at the end of Nibbles’ blogtour.
We really enjoyed reading Nibbles The Book Monster and we’re hoping that there will be another Nibbles story so that we can see where he goes to next!
Thank you to Little Tiger Press for inviting us to be part of Nibbles’ blogtour.