How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Once Upon a Happily Ever After

I heard on the radio that today is “Tell a Fairy Tale Day.” Believe it or not, we owe much to fairy tales!
                                                       A home in the peaceful village of Saint-Leon-sur-Vézère in Dordogne in France
They represent a certain simplicity, a collection of universal truths told in simple language … beloved, understood, handed down through centuries … made memorable and appealing through the excitement of fantasy and adventure. Fairy tales preserve the life truths that modern, sophisticated stories draw their breath from, but often garble by complicating things with biases, psychology, and experimentalism. In fairy tales, good is good and evil is evil, and both get their just deserts, except for a few tragedies where good does not triumph -- that, too, is a picture of life that needs to be taught. This “elementary understanding” is why fairy tales are ideal for children. Don’t get me wrong -- I love a complicated novel, but a simple tale is refreshing. One reason that life seems so complicated now is probably because of the demand for complicated literature, and vice versa -- literature is complicated because life is complicated. Which came first? : ) Life was always full of trouble, but I wonder if fairy tales soothed that by explaining things and (usually) wrapping up with a satisfying ending.
Without fairy tales, we would have no fiction today!
Some of my favorite fairy tales:
1. Cinderella
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. The Marsh King’s Daughter
4. Sleeping Beauty
5. The Twelve Dancing Princesses
6. The Wild Swans
7. The Ugly Duckling
                                                   God of the Fairy Tale: Finding Truth in the Land of Make-Believe

This book was so much fun to read! From the back cover: “More than simple children’s literature, the most enduring stories are echoes of the greatest of all stories, the Gospel. God of the Fairy Tale is a collection of spiritual reflections on the truths found in classic fairy tales, truths that point us to the ultimate Truth about God, redemption, and ourselves.” I loved having the curtain pulled back on why, for example, fairy tales are so universal and what that proves, and why certain elements of fairy tales are so appealing. It’s a five-star book for me.
Some fairy tale retellings I’ve read and enjoyed:
1. Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine)
2. Spindle’s End (Robin McKinley)
3. Eric Carle’s Treasure of Classic Stories for Children
4. The Bedtime Book: A Collection of Fairy Tales (Daniel San Souci)
5. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (Eugene Trivizas)
6. The Three Javelinas (Susan Lowell)
I’m always interested in novelizations of fairy tales, but I believe I’ve only read two (the ones at the top of my list)! What are your favorite fairy tales? Any book recommendations? And now for the musical finale that proves the hero and heroine will live happily ever after:


  1. I love fairy tales, although reading a complete book full of nothing else can get old (such as the red/Blue/Green fairy books by Lang.) My favorite is probably Sleeping Beauty--and Cinderella, of course. Who doesn't love Cinderella?

    I found this hilarious, little-known fairy tale in a book long ago, but I haven't been able to find it since. It was about a princess who was kidnapped by a boring, middle-aged magician. He wanted to marry her and kept trying (unsucessfully) to entertain her with dumb theatricals filled with frogs--or something like that, I haven't read it in years. Anyway, I would recommend it, if you can find it. :P

    Sorry I can't hear your video! I'm on the library computer. They have the sound turned off unless you use headphones and I didn't bring mine. :(

    1. Ooh, thanks for the recommendation! I would love to read it. Maybe I can find it someday. I'll let you know if I do!
      The music is absolutely gorgeous ... and the pictures are all from fantasy worlds. It's amazing, so I hope you get to hear it.
      Thanks for commenting!