Saturday, June 19, 2010

My kids are reading Fairy Tales






Really, I should say I read the fairy tales to them.

Mightiest Heart- so, after the whole Blackbeard fiasco I’ve started making sure I preread the ones I’m less sure of.  This is the story of a prince who has a dog, and grows up with the dog, and sort of reminds me of the giving tree.  Because gradually the dog is shunted more and more to the side until he’s just flat out kicked out over a mistaken impression (sort of like in Lady and the Tramp).  Then the dog later saves the prince, and then there’s more…..  Now, as my kids retell the story to their Aunt Jenn that night at dinner, all they could say was the dog died and the prince was mean.  So, apparently they didn’t get the wonderful story of love, and that the dog didn’t really die.  My kids are weird sometimes.

Cinderella-  This is closer to the original Cinderella than most retellings, but it still doesn’t get into the whole chopping off their toes or pecking out their eyes, which is probably just as well, given my kids.  Next thing you know they’ll tell everyone I read them a story with birds eating people.

The Loathsome Dragon- This is from the British Isles, I think Irish, but I could be wrong.  It’s the story of a brother and sister and what the brother goes through to break the enchantment on his sister.  LOVED this story!

Rose Red and Snow White- This is a tale I’m more familiar with, and I actually own three versions of this tale, I think.  This one I don’t own, but Snow White and Rose Red befriend a bear and find out he is bespelled.  Maybe someday I’ll write a post about fairy tales novelizations.  I love the novelization I have of this book.

The Four Gallant Sisters-  Who of course are orphans, isn’t that what always happens in fairy tales?  And to make it even more fun, there’s a Shakespearean twist, they dress up like men!  And, this would fit in with most of his comedies, there’s gender twists galore.  Okay, before I start making all sorts of silly jokes about this.  I thought this was delightful, and so did my kids.

The Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions- This was great!  The king has a son and then later his wife dies, 3 years later he marries again and has 2 more sons and they become the best of friends.  But, the queen in a stray moment of jealousy sends the oldest prince off to steal 3 magic stallions.  The two younger brothers agree to help him and ride off with him.  Great story of friendship and brothers being friends.  I also loved the turn of phrase as we read it.

Honestly, I don’t think there was a miss among these with my kids.  The least favorite was Cinderella, but that makes sense.  My boys really liked “The Loathsome Dragon,” and “Rose Red and Snow White.”

Now, here’s why I said this is part one of fairy tales.  I checked out about 30 fairy tales.  That’s to go with this:
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See these two pictures.  The one on the left is the bookcase full of my teaching stuff in the garage.  Most of the books on that middle shelf you can see are fairy tales, including a version of Beauty and the Beast I wrote and illustrated for a college assignment, and a fairy tale Jeff wrote because he loves me.

The one on the right is my fairy tale/fantasy bookcase.  The top shelf has about 20-30 versions of Beauty and the Beast (the notebooks are Bible studies, yes that is an odd pairing).  The next row are novelizations of fairy tales, mostly young adult, and a fair number Gail Carson Levine.  The comes a row of Arthurian inspired novels, and starting to get into general fantasy.  And then the bottom two are fantasy, mostly.  And those have a lot of books inspired by fairy tales. (Sorry for the slight blurriness of this picture, my camera is mad at me right now, and I”m hoping it just needs new batteries, and my cell phone camera got me a slightly blurry picture).
So, we have a fair number of books to read.  Though, a lot of them they are not ready for. 

Now, that you’ve been somewhat indoctrinated by my short treatise on fairy tales head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to see some more great fairy tales.

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