Fairy tales are not politically correct and we may be concerned with the violence in them but children’s fairy tales and stories are still worth reading. They introduce kids to the magical world of dragons, castles, wishes, fairies, and animals that talk. Kings, queens, princesses and princes lead charmed lives and magic gives power. At the same time, the heroes are often the ordinary people who succeed with determination despite the odds. Often, the children save the adults.
Even though the Disney versions are quite different from the Grimm’s and traditional fairy tales, at least, they have kept the stories from disappearing altogether. Knowing how the old stories go is part of enjoying ones with a new twist. Here are some wonderful stories based on the familiar ones to delight girls and boys, and the grownups reading them.
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el, illustrated by Tim Bowers, tells the coming of age of a young dragon who will now breathe fire. Except he doesn’t, despite the name of Crispin. Instead of lighting his birthday cake candles with a flame, Cripsin adds whipped cream. His misadventures continue, with bandaids for the doctor’s office, marshmallows on a field-trip, and more. His family and neighborhood finally come to terms with Crispin’s unusual and untypical power.
Another dragon story is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. A prince is captured by a dragon and this time, it is the princess who saves him. Instead of fighting the dragon with bravery and a sword, she uses bravery and words. Unfortunately, the prince complains about her unusual appearance and the princess again has to use something sharp—her tongue, as she tells him her opinion of his behavior.
In The Princess and The Pony, written and illustrated by Kate Beaton, another warrior princess wants a big, strong, brave pony for her birthday. She ends up with a rolly-polly pony who farts. This story is hilarious and so fun.
Mo Willems, who writes of the two friends Elephant and Piggy, changes the three bears into three dinosaurs, in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Jan Fearnley writes about a wolf who wants pancakes for breakfast in Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes, but has a terrible time. He can talk, but struggles to read, write, and count.
These and other books, are based on the world contained in children’s fairy tales and stories. Has your child visited this world?
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