Parodies, Spoofs, and Twisted Tales

In the 1930s, high school teacher Earl Dias noted that parody can be used to “magnify the characteristic of a writer’s style to such great proportions that even those comparatively inexperienced in the tenets of literary criticism may be able to achieve at least a partial understanding of the peculiar qualities of the type of writing that is parodied.”* Parodies also are great for a good laugh. Below is a bibliography of children and young adult parody books. For a more adult spoof on children’s fairy tales, tryPolitically Correct Bedtime Stories located in the Main Stacks, call number 813 G186po.

Parodies are not always clearly marked in the online catalog, so a little creativity may be needed to find them. Some search terms to use include: parodies, parody, imitations, wit, sarcasm, “nonsense verses,” and “wit and humor.”

*Article cited: Dias, Earl J. “The Use of Parody in Teaching.” The English Journal 28.8 (1939): 650-655.

Allard, Harry and James Marshall.
The Stupids Have a Ball. 1978.
The Stupid family celebrates the children’s awful report cards by inviting their relatives to a costume party in this children’s book spoof.
[Education Storage SE.AL52ST]

Cheatham, Val R.
Skits and Spoofs for Young Actors. 1977.
Skits include Big, Bad Wolf at the Door, The Tortoise and the Hare Hit the Road, The Way-out Wizard of Oz, and Aladdin Strikes it Rich, among others.
[Education Oak St. no call number]

Denim, Sue.
The Dumb Bunnies’ Easter Story. 1995.
In another spoof on children’s books, the Dumb Bunnies are celebrating the holidays in their own ridiculous ways.
[Education Storage Q.SE. D415DB]

Di Darco, Alfredo.
The HoaX-FILES: an unauthorized parody: The Spoof is Out There. 1998.
In this parody of the television show and movie, The X-Files, Agents Moldy and Scolder investigate three hoaX-Files, #1: Alien dogduction, #2: Ixnay on the eezechay, and #3: Epidermis enigmata.
[Education Storage S.D5612h]

Flapdoodle, Pure Nonsense from American Folklore. 1980.
A collection of spoonerisms, word plays, visual jokes and riddles, punctuation rhymes, nursery rhyme parodies, and other nonsense speech, verses, and stories compiled from folk sources around the country.
[Education Oak St. S.398.0973 F614]

Gorey, Edward.
Amphigorey. 1972.
This collection of 15 books by Edward Gorey includes The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a hilariously twisted alphabet book that begins with “A is for Amy who fell down the Stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears.” See also Amphigorey Again, located in the S Collection.
[Uni High Graphic Novels GN G668a1980]

Greenberg, David.
Whatever Happened to Humpty Dumpty?: and Other Surprising Sequels to Mother Goose Rhymes. 1999.
Humorous verses are added to traditional Mother Goose rhymes.
[Education Storage Q. S.811 G829w]

Harris, Leon A.
The Night Before Christmas, in Texas, that is. 1980.
Parody of The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Clarke Moore, using Texas tradition and lingo.
[Education Oak St. SE.H242N]

The Harvard Lampoon.
Nightlight: a Parody. 2009.
This Harvard Lampoon book parodies the currently very popular Twilight novel by Stephenie Meyer. Belle Goose begins stalking the uninterested and nerdy Edwart Mullen when she becomes falsely convinced that he is a vampire.
[Residence Halls Pennsylvania Avenue Circulating Collection 813 H2613ni]

Johnson, Paul Brett.
On Top of Spaghetti. 2006.
In an adaptation of the original parody of “On Top of Old Smoky,” the hound Yodeler Jones tells what happened when his beloved meatball escaped from a plateful of spaghetti and ended up under a bush outside his restaurant.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. J636o]

Layne, Steven L.
The Teacher’s Night Before Christmas. 2001.
Exhausted from parties and pageants at school but with presents still to buy, teachers are greeted at the mall by an unexpected helper driving a flying school bus in this hilarious take on the Christmas classic.
[Education Storage Q. S.811 L454t]

Lish, Ted.
The Three Little Puppies and the Big Bad Flea. 2001.
Three puppies leave home as they are warned about the Big Bad Flea. They build houses using flimsy materials, which the flea knocks down easily.
[Education Storage Q. SE. L6871t]

Lowry, Lois.
The Willoughbys. 2008.
In this tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children’s literature, the four Willoughby children set about to become “deserving orphans” after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.
[Education S Collection S. L955w]

Rex, Michael.
Goodnight Goon: a Petrifying Parody. 2008.
A young monster says goodnight to all of the other monsters in his bedroom.
[Center for Children’s Books SE. R3291g]

Rex, Michael.
The Runaway Mummy: a Petrifying Parody. 2009.
A little mummy who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but no matter what horrible creature he claims he will become or where he plans to go, she promises to be there with him.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. R329r]

Scieszka, Jon and Lane Smith.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. 1992.
Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales, including Chicken Licken, The Really Ugly Duckling, Jack’s Bean Problem, The Stinky Cheese Man, and The Boy who Cried “Cow Patty.”
[Education S Collection SE.SCI27S]

Scieszka, Jon.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. 1989.
The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs.
[Education S Collection SE. Sci27t]

Shapiro, Karen Jo.
Because I Could Not Stop my Bike, and Other Poems. 2003.
A collection of light-hearted parodies written in the style of such well-known poets as Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, Christina Rosetti, Joyce Kilmer, and William Shakespeare.
[Education Storage Q. S.811 Sh226b]

Slime, R. U. (Rupert U.)
Gooflumps: Stay Out of the Bathroom. 1995.
In this parody of the Goosebumps series, Joe won’t put down the seat. Not now. Not ever. But the bully of the bowl has met his match. It’s payback time — and The Toilet is plunging into action!
[Education Storage S.SL362S]

Smith, Lane.
The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country! 2003.
This book parodies Dick and Jane style readers. When the Hocky family moves to a big old house in the country, it takes them some time to adjust to a new way of life.
[Education Storage SE. Sm618h]

Snicket, Lemony.
Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography. 2002.
Readers of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events books will enjoy this parody of an autobiography. The elusive author provides a glimpse into his mysterious and sometimes confusing life, using fanciful letters, diary entries, and other miscellaneous documents as well as photographs and illustrations.
[Undergrad 813 Sn31Ys]

Spiegelman, Art and Francoise Mouly (ed).
It Was a Dark and Silly Night… 2003.
A collection of comic strips by various artists, each of which begins with the phrase, “It was a dark and silly night.” This collection includes comics by Lemony Snicket, William Joyce, Neil Gaiman, and more.
[Center for Children’s Books S.741.5 It11]