The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi; illustrated by Shahar Kober. 2016. Hand lettering.
Brief summary: Dumpling thought it was ugly, because it did not look like the other dumplings. A cockroach from the Chinese restaurant befriends the dumpling showing the beauty around them which led the dumpling to understand it was actually a steamed bun and fit right in with the other buns. Customers spot the cockroach causing them both to leave.
Comments: A cute and humorous retelling of the classic The Ugly Duckling. I will buy this to use for the folklore unit of study, but it could be used for friendship and self-esteem talks with the school counselor.
Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez; illustrated by Dan Santat. 2016. Sumi brush work on rice paper and completed in Adobe Photoshop.
Brief Summary: Mama has been taken by a fox. Two chicks trained in the art of jujitsu come home to find Papa missing as well. They discover a feather and go to look for him carefully dropping breadcrumbs as they journey into the forest. They come across a house made of cornbread and start pecking at it not realizing until it is too late that it belongs to the fox. He captures Hensel putting the chick into a crate with Papa. Gretel attacks and everyone escapes the fox.
Comments: This is a fractured fairytale with bold illustrations full of energy. There are two sisters instead of a brother and sister. Both boys and girls enjoy these fractured fairy tales in my school library. If you like this one, there are more in the series: