Leaping Beauty: and Other Animal Fairy Tales – Gregory Maguire, 2004

Not as funny as I hoped it would be. These cute variations on fairy tales (“Hamster and Gerbil,” “The Three Little Penguins and the Big Bad Walrus”) rely heavily on the inherent laughter value of reworking the familiar tales. Bones are tossed to adults (the sexpot Hollywood-bound sheep in “Rumplesnakeskin” is called Norma Jean, Little Red Robin Hood’s grandma lives in a retirment apartment complex), and kids will like the irreverent humor, but it’s a little old hat after Stinky Cheese Man etc. My favorite was “Goldiefox and the Three Chickens,” which had a few bits that made me laugh out loud and also a very happy ending.