Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fairy Tales

Peeper has discovered fairy tales and wants to hear more and more of them. We're struggling to find ones that we find acceptable. Some of the issue is that we prefer those that are not all about "someday my prince will come," but also, holy cow!

I get that these stories come from a different day and age, and that probably nothing you can find in a children's book today approaches the gruesomeness of original versions, but seriously?

Hansel and Gretel?!

I am MUCH less concerned with the witch trying to cook and eat the children than I am with the parents plotting to abandon them in the woods, because they can't afford to feed them.

Twice. (They made it back the first time, and the parents got mad and tried again!)

When I read it, I'm generally saying, "Um, and then the went for a walk, and they thought maybe they would get lost, so they took bread crumbs, and then they got lost and their parents looked and looked for them but couldn't find them, and . . . . " while hoping she doesn't wonder why it takes four pages to say that.

Funnily enough, her first exposure to most of the fairy tales, especially the ones she's particularly "into" these days - Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk - were through Sesame Street, which of course, shows a very different version of them.

Hansel and Gretel, for instance, are a take off on Hans and Frans and they "just want to throw breadcrumbs!" and Rapunzel cuts her hair because it keeps getting caught on things and she can't have any fun.

So, she saw these, and wanted to hear more about them, so Shrike got out the "Inappropriate Fairy Tales" (as we call it) book and read them to her, and now she's kind of obsessed.

At story time yesterday, I asked the librarian to help us find some more appropriate versions, but guess what? The ones we ended up with are pretty much word-for-word like the ones in that book!

We've actually read (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture - Amazon affiliate link) that the "gruesome" versions are good, in that they let kids work through scary things in a fun way, but parental abandonment, no thanks!

I'm not totally sure about people getting eaten up, but Peeper seems to be okay about it. It makes Rapunzel-gets-knocked-up seem pretty tame, in comparison.

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