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What fairy tale does your child like the best?

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 16, 2009 9:08:01 AM PDT
Aviva Lynne says:
My one great niece has just turned 5 and I want to start buying her some fairy tales. So I wanted to see what holds other 5-6 year olds interest.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:24:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 12:25:52 PM PDT
N. Morrison says:
I recommend The Fairy Chronicles by J.H. Sweet. About 12 in the series so far and great to read aloud to a 5 year old. Then she will want to read them again as she gets a little older. Color pictures and activities in each one but with a good story too so they're not just fluff.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 12:45:09 PM PDT
John Barnes says:
At the risk of freaking everyone out, try TELLING a few to her. That's an experience children rarely have nowadays -- one on one story telling. DON'T go to a storytelling workshop first or find a book of read-alouds. Just sit down and start off ... "Once upon a time, there was a poor miller ... " (Stop to explain what a miller does ....) "Who had a beautiful daughter who he thought could do anything." (Possibly remind kid of having a parent who thinks they're wonderful). "Now it happened ..." and keep going till you get to "and they lived happily ever after," paying close attention to the kid and how the story's going over the whole way through. Name the dwarves or the witch if the kid asks, skip the scary parts if the kid is scared, include a subplot about the prince's pet turtle if the kid wants the prince to have a turtle. Ask the kid regularly if s/he knows what happens next.

Do that with a few fairy tales, a few times -- the ones you yourself know and like -- and then you'll know which books the kid will like. (But be prepared to have arguments. e.g. UNCLE JOHN, THE WOLF DID NOT LOOK LIKE THAT! HE WAS MUCH BIGGER AND MEANER! (Explanation: they couldn't put the wolf in his full size on this small page, and if they showed how mean he really was, little kids -- not like you, you're a big girl -- would be too scared. Let's keep going and see if they got Grandma right ...))

I know it's blasphemy to suggest something other than reading around here -- and maybe not the best way for me to produce paying customers -- but stories grew in an oral, interactive theatre of the mind, and that's where the love of them grows, still.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 3:20:48 PM PDT
jnstar says:
James Marshall has retold and illustrated several fairy tales. The books are colorful and told with a great sense of humor; I teach 1st grade and my students love them! Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs are some of the titles I recall.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 3:40:03 PM PDT
Wayward says:
My dd actually likes Demi's folktales, and has loved them since she was about 4. They aren't classic princess fairy tales, but they are sweet and maybe just what you're looking for. (The Empty Pot is a Reading Rainbow book, we love that series, and the Boy who Painted Dragons, Girl who Painted a Phoenix, etc.)

As read alouds, Gail Carson Levine's mixed up fairy tales are almost always a hit. (Cinderellis and the Glass Hill (Princess Tales), The Fairy's Mistake (Princess Tales), etc.)

We also liked Betsy Who Cried Wolf, The Princess and the Pizza, and the more classic The Gingerbread Man (any verion). And you can't go wrong with Jane Yolen's Where Have the Unicorns Gone? Sort of sad, but beautiful. All little girls I know love it! (Not a fairytale, but an illustrated poem about Unicorns.)

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 10:17:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2009 10:21:12 PM PDT
Children recognize and like Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White... the old standards.

When they're young it's best to introduce them to the basics; when they get a little older they can be exposed to all the mixed up variations, and so forth.

There are also some great fables like The Bremen Town Musicians, Chicken Little, and such.

While the notion of actually telling your child a fairy tale one on one would be ideal, few adults know the tales by heart... or have the skills to really convey the stories well. But if you do, it would be a great experience to bond with your great niece.

Also consider some of the really good fairytale audio books available on compact disc. Some are dramatized, some have very good narrators. You could listen to them together and then 'perform' them yourselves later.

There are so many children's books out there now that take old fashioned fairy tales and twist them, update them, blend them, focus on a secondary character, turn the main character into a sleuth, etc. It's overwhelming.
Of course, there's no harm in making a fairy tale silly or changing things in it; however sometimes it's best to stick with the standard material.

Also remember that a good fairy tale needs to not only have a hero/protagonist and some adventure, but it often requires real danger and a scary villain. (Of course this depends on the child's age and tolerance for these things. Use your best judgment.) In Wonderland, The Queen of Hearts went around demanding peoples' heads be cut off; in Pinocchio there were undertakers and also bad guys who turned boys' skin into drums; in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch sent a pack of wolves to devour Dorothy's companions. These things seem horrific but they are an integral part of the fairy tale. And if they are edited, cut out, or cleaned up, it cheats the child significantly and robs them of something crucial. Children sometimes like to be frightened, actually. And life is not all sunshine and happiness (unless you're in that vapid TV series Barney the Dinosaur, where there are no problems or bad emotions present).

There are many stories to consider: The Little Mermaid, The Fisherman and his Wife, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Rose Red, The Princess and the Pea, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Sleeping Beauty, and so on.
Then eventually you can get into the longer stories like Peter Pan, The Snow Queen, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins...

Many major book stores have a fairy tales and folk tales section within the Childrens area. Maybe you could both browse and do some reading there together.

Enjoy it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2009 11:13:16 PM PDT
John Barnes says:
Peace be unto Baron Sardonicus, whose advice is otherwise superb, I think most people have enough skill to tell a fairy tale one on one to a kid. Not a bad idea to review it first of course, for your own sake, but you'll get a lot of time because the kid will interrupt and want to discuss. After all, all you're doing is talking to the kid and telling him/her about something that ... well, didn't exactly happen happen, but it's the way it should have happened if it happened. (Swiping from the way a friend of mine begins fairy tales to kids ...) And it's one of those skills that comes with doing ... so I still recommend that you do! Requires only a little courage and a bit of brains and heart; much easier to obtain here than in Oz!

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 6:54:48 AM PDT
Camryn Jones says:
I agree with the Fairy Chronicles as modern fairy tales go. Spiderwort and the Princess of Haiku (The Fairy Chronicles). Luna and the Well of Secrets (Fairy Chronicles). The classics that are being recommended would be good too, especially if purchased in their classic form (ie not cartoon Disney, but actual literature). Cinderella. However, some five-year-olds scare easy so screening would be good. I remember being terrified of The Snow Queen as a child. Alice in Wonderland and the Oz books were always my favorites and would be great to read to a five-year-old girl. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Signet Classics). The Treasury of Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Road to Oz, The Emerald City of ... Tik-Tok of Oz, The Scarecrow Of Oz, Rinkitin. Later, she might like Princess Academy. Princess Academy.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 12:16:16 AM PDT
The 12 Dancing Princessess has been my favorite fairy tale since before I can remember. I loved it growing up, and I love it now. There are some great picture book versions, great older YA retellings, and it is a great story to retell on your own.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 3:21:11 PM PDT
Belle Bright says:
Hi Aviva
Try my folk tale about a little girl who is afraid of thunderstorms. Her grandmother tells her a story to help her get over her fears. It is called, "Crash Bang Boom Zing." It is on sale now at publish america for only, $6.99 otherwise it is $24.95.

Belle Bright author

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 2:11:23 PM PDT
Aviva Lynne says:
I agree with you about story telling. I graduated with a BFA in Theatre and am well versed in story telling, puppetry, etc. I do tell her stories and I enjoy having her tell me stories but I only see her 1-2 times a month so I like to buy her beautiful books for the in between times. In addition to the storytelling I have bought a castle and filled it with kings, queens, fairies, princes, princesses, knights, dragons, Pegasus, heralds, unicorns, etc. that is kept at my mother's for all the great grands to play with. It was wonderful this Saturday night at a family party to watch all the children in the family playing with it and creating their own stories. Not to mention the costumes I make for dress up.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 2:17:52 PM PDT
John Barnes says:
Careful about that, Aviva; you are apt to make them imaginative and articulate, and it sometimes takes the schools decades to stamp that out of them ... <G> ... seriously, what a great thing to do for the kids!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 4:38:15 PM PDT

I suspect you're a treasure. Will you be my aunt? ;)

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 5:39:31 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 8, 2012 7:32:26 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 11:33:56 PM PDT
Aviva, you sound like a living doll. My mother told me stories every night. I remember sitting in the dark, watching her gestures as she told my sister and me the three little pigs, her breath smelling of coffee as she whispered to us. Those are some of my best memories. I felt so loved and safe. Sorry, started getting writerly there for a minute. I tell my daughter at least two stories every night. I have to change them up so I don't get bored! Cinderella is a huge hit, but some fairy tales scare her, Rumplestiltskin, for example. My daughter likes folk tales better- The Snow Child, Babushka's Doll, Abiyoyo, Uncle Remus Stories. Tonight, she wanted King Midus.

Posted on Aug 9, 2012 6:25:04 AM PDT
The Big V says:
My kids like the one about Obama making our lives better.
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Jul 16, 2009
Latest post:  Aug 9, 2012

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