Monday, March 16, 2009

Fairy Tales

I've been reading a lot of re-told fairy tales lately.  I'd like to blame it on Charlotte,
but really, I'm happy as a Zombie Cow in Smackdown.

I love fairy tales. 

I think it started with a copy of The Real Mother Goose (you know, the one with the black and white checkerboard cover).  The rhymes were fine, but it was Blanche Fisher Wright's delicate, old-fashioned illustrations that lodged in my heart. 

I moved from those to all kinds of illustrated classics, like Marianna Mayer's Beauty and the Beast

My sister and I memorized nearly all the episodes of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre (see below); we knew the scripts & lyrics of every Disney movie by heart.

Before I knew it, at the age of 11, I had a copy of Robin McKinley's Beauty in my hands.  My earlier prediliction to fairy tales grew into full-fledged obsession.

Back to Charlotte.  With her review of Princess at the Midnight Ball,  Charlotte included some comments about the difference between a Re-Telling and a Re-Imagining. She also threw in half a dozen titles that exemplify each type.  The titles went on my wishlist.  Then a copy of East by Edith Pattou came available via Paperback Swap, so I read it.  Then I found I could actually request just about any book on earth from my library (who knew!?!), so it's been fairy tales ever since.

Don't worry, I'll read something properly grown-up and dignified soon.

down memory lane: Faerie Tale Theatre


  1. My sister loved Fairy tale Theater. Of course I would sometimes watch with her. Good stuff.

  2. Have you ever read anything by Gregory Maguire? He wrote "Wicked" and several other re-told fairy tales. I love his novels, but some people find them a little dense.

  3. Good for you, and why not read fairy tales. I teach reading in middle school and it is so sad that most of my students do not know the basic fairy tales I grew up with. I do a unit in the spring just on fairy tales to be sure it is part of their education so they can be well rounded adults! Thanks for your post!

  4. I love fairy tales, re-tellings, and, uh, re-imaginings, although I'm not so sure what the last one is, but it sure sounds good!

  5. Fairy tales are great. Have you read The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale?

  6. I read East recently and I loved it. And I would argue that fairy tales ARE grown-up and dignified :P

  7. I adore fairy tales, fairy tale retellings and reimaginings. Thanks for reminding me of Marianna Mayer's Beauty and the Beast. It's all coming back to me now...

  8. I enjoy what Robin McKinley does with fairy tales, especially Deerskin, which is based on a French (I think) fairy tale called Donkeyskin.

  9. My sisters & I watched Fairy Tale Theater, too! I loved The Snow Queen and Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast and--they did Tall Tales & Legends, too, and I remember loving the stories of Pecos Bill and Annie Oakley... I need to go see if those are on DVD somewhere, just to see if they're available. (By the time kids I'd have would be old enough to watch them, I'm sure we'll be into a new video format.)

  10. East is one that's been on my to-read list for ever...and there are two more re-tellings of that one on the way, one by Jenny Davidson (of The Explosionist), and one by Sarah Beth Durst (of Into the Wild).

    Thanks for the link! And I'm glad you've been having a nice time.

  11. I have that exact copy of Mother Goose still. My kids love reading it as much as I did.

    Speaking of fairy tales, I just bought a copy of _The Fairy Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm_ for my daughters. I'll let you know if it is a good read.



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