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“What’s Not to Love” Book Club: Gender Swapped Fairy Tales

Why have I never read a story about a princess climbing up Mr. Rapunzel’s long golden beard to rescue him from the tower a wicked wizard banished him to? Now I can! This fabulous book, Gender Swapped Fairy Tales, presents the dazzling world of classic fairy tales, with a very refreshing gender-twist. This is my highest recommendation from my “What’s Not to Love” Book Club. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

Magical illustration from Gender Swapped Fairy Tales, illustrations by Karrie Fransman


In a virtual huddle infused with Wild Women (this is an across-the-world group of us who meet monthly and share, support and dream together), we opened up a discussion around double standards of the treatment of girls vs boys, specifically children. Visualise: At a family gathering, little girls being gifted a glittery hair clip to look cute and pretty. Little boys being gifted a survival kit to equip you to camouflage yourself in the bush. A Facebook comment on a newborn baby boy predicting that, when he grows up, he’ll be so strong and successful that he’ll be a total player. The girl’s section at the clothing store with pink and purple options only. How unfair. And frustrating. And in need of revolutionary change.

At this point in the conversation, one of my most attentive and generous friends, Meg (with her uber fabulous bright red lipstick), mentioned a book that we should check out: Gender Swapped Fairy Tales by Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett.

I immediately ordered the book, waited (not so) patiently for it to be delivered, placed it on my bedside table and it is now my favourite nighttime reading ritual. Not to mention my favourite gender-bending-boundary-smashing pastime. I’ve also given this book as a gift, to the utter delight of the recipient.


Karrie and Jonathan take original classics by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve, the Brothers Grimm and other authors and, using a tricky little algorithm, switch all the gender-based words. So daughter, queen and dress becomes son, king and suit, and so on.

Through inspired gender-swapping, this book provides insight into “a world where little girls can be powerful and where little boys can express their vulnerability without anger,” as explained by the authors. It gives a fresh spin to classic stories, in which men show emotion and are the receivers of heroic rescue, and where women are powerful lionhearts and are celebrated for their bravery. Now that is a new kind of reality I’d like (my future children) to live in.

As an added bonus, the illustrations are absolutely magnificent and add so much to the aura of this magical book. This is the current must-read from my “What’s Not to Love” Book Club.

Join Handsome and the Beast, Frau Rumpelstiltzkin, a prince who sleeps on a pea and a big bad lady-wolf in heels.


With love, the Self Love Club x

P.S. What’s the book in your hands right now? I’m always on the lookout for life-changing books. Let me know by commenting below.


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We write about Self Love practises, habits to establish joy and musings on living a fabulous life.

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