Fairy Tale Fortnight!

Snow White

Snow White by Trina Schart Hyman. She had the audacity to make the stepmother classically beautiful, and hauntingly evil. So much of this story is told through the illustrations – symbols and metaphors abound. One of my favorite books of all time.

I’m a total fairy tale geek. I’ve always loved fairy tales—Disney films, gorgeously illustrated children’s books, modern retellings, clever novelizations, you name it.

In college, I realized that if I combined a Cultural Anthropology major focusing on folktales with my Literature major with a focus on literature from a variety of cultures, I could actually study fairy tales academically.

I continued with this cross-disciplinary approach with my MS in Education, which focused on how we use children’s literature to socialize each generation of kids.

So fairy tales might seem like sweet (maybe even saccharine) kids’ stories to many, but to me they’re an integral part of the world around us. (Or folk tales—the distinction between fairy and folk tales is a definitional argument that I will happily have with you over a glass of wine sometime, but for now please accept “fairy tale” in its broadest possible sense.)

The ways that the fairy tales (and other stories) of a culture or a time are told reflect the things that are important to that culture or time. In exchange, as these stories are often used to implicitly—and sometimes explicitly—teach children (and others) about their current and future roles in society, fairy tales help influence the things that are important to a culture or time.

Little Red Riding Hood

Trina Schart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood. Who wouldn’t trust this friendly wolf?

Yeah. I’ll stop here before I get going too fast and can’t stop at all. Like I said, I’m a fairy tale geek.

So it’s with much excitement that I’m participating in Fairy Tale Fortnight this year. At Reads 4 Tweens I’ll be reviewing as many fairy tale books as I possibly can (I’m aiming for 10 in these two weeks—I think I can pull it off). I’ll also have some posts about different things pertaining to fairy tales, including two interviews with fairy tale author Jocelyn Koehler. I intend to cross post some of those things here.

This also seems like a perfect way to celebrate the first birthday of Reads 4 Tweens! I hope you’ll check it out, and I hope you find it even half as fun as I will.

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