Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Fairy Tales

I was reading about fairy tales here:

Are Fairytales Too Scary for Children?

(This reference is for grownups who read this blog.)

The author says that fairy tales are too old-fashioned, too scary, too cruel, and don't give a good idea of what girls and women are able to do. She doesn't like the Disney princesses in the original stories. I think a lot of girls like the princesses. I was talking to a father with a little girl and a little boy in the park yesterday, and the girl said her favorite princess was Ariel.

Lots of girls have a favorite princess. I think that's ok. The princesses actually have to do a lot for themselves and for other people, even if it's old fashioned. Belle was very brave, tried to save her father, and realized that the beast was ugly but good. Ariel explored a whole new world. Snow White was kind to the dwarfs. Sleeping Beauty was curious, though it wasn't good for her.

Cinderella really was pretty clever too, some writers have pointed out. Her stepmother kept her in the attic, so she made friends with the animals. She wanted to go to the ball, but it wasn't easy. She did all her hard work, made her own dress, and then when the stepsisters messed up her dress, she found a powerful helper: a fairy godmother. She also managed to get out of her attic, show the other slipper, and become the princess.

Miriam, Alice, Theo, Lenny, and I have all been reading two modern fairy tales: Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air by Diana Wynn Jones. I think Sophie, who is in disguise in both books, is a wonderful magical character, though not in fact a princess. I think this is a great fairy tale for both grownups and children.

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