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Literature / The Topsy Turvy Storybook

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The Topsy-Turvy Storybook is a 1992 children's book by British author Dick King-Smith. It is a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes turned over their heads (usually in a humorous manner). It also has stories about famous people.

This book provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Wimp: This version of Robin Hood is a far cry from his usual badass portrayal, to say the least.
  • Badass Princess: The princess in "The Princess and the P (for Pumpkin)" is able to withstand not only a pea, but also a lemon, a grapefruit, a melon, a vegetable marrow, and a pumpkin.
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  • Bears Are Bad News: The bear in "Bear and the Three Goldilocks" breaks into the titular sisters' house, makes a mess of their stuff, and is implied to eat the girls themselves at the end.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted (and probably inverted) in Thinderella. The titular character's older sisters are beautiful, but vain and mean. Thinderella is nice, but skinny and plain, and no one notices her.
  • Dumb Blonde: Rapunzel is portrayed as this. She even gets the idea to cut her hair so the witch can't come, not realizing that she will get no food.
  • Fat Bitch: The Queen in "Snow White". Snow White herself becomes this after she's stuck underground and rescued by a prince.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Every story (and rhyme) in this book.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The witch in Hansel and Gretel, as usual. Hansel and Gretel lampshade this by noting that "calibans"note  eat people because they're hungry, and decide to eat the witch.
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  • Little Red Fighting Hood: "Little" is probably not the right word here, but Huge Red Riding Hood is more than capable of holding her own against the wolf.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Unlike in most versions of "The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids," the wolf does not sleep through the scissors poking his stomach.
    • In "Sleeping Beauty", the titular princess is not happy about missing her beauty sleep. She even says "What d'you think this is--a fairy tale?"
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The wolf in "The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids" scarves down the youngest kid, and decides to do the same to the mother goat.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Quite a few.
    • The grandmother in "Huge Red Riding Hood" verbally abuses her granddaughter for eating her goodies, stuffing her in a closet, and messing up her bed, and does not even notice the wolf (whom Red has suffocated). Red even says she should have let the wolf eat Grandma.
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    • The princess in "The Frog Prince" has the frog made into dinner after he gets her ball.
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