Once upon a time…
All the best stories start out that way, right? I love fairy tales, so I can totally get behind Tell a Fairy Tale Day, which is February 26th.
Fairy Tales in their original form, as brought to us by The Brothers Grimm, can be pretty dark and were written to teach lessons to children. Don’t wander off by yourselves, a witch in a candy house might eat you. Watch who you let your hair down for. And for heaven’s sake, don’t take apples from strange old people.
Despite their dark beginnings, I have a soft spot for these first-version fairy tales. Do I read them to JC at night? Noooo. But I will one day. For now, we stick to the more G-rated versions.
Not only do I love a good, old-fashioned fairy tale (and we tell a lot of those in my house!) I love all things inspired by fairy tales. I mean, come on. Look where I got married.
Disney aside, you’ll find plenty of fairy tale-esque things scattered through my home:
I also enjoy (for the most part) the retellings of Fairy Tales. I’m an avid watcher of ABC’s Once Upon a Time and all the fairy tale incest you’ll find there. Rumpelstiltskin as the Beast and Peter Pan’s son AND Tick Tock Crocodile AND the evil queen’s adopted son’s grandfather? Count me in.
I enjoyed Maleficent, the retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Into the Woods. There seems to be an abundance of young adult novels that center around the retelling of Snow White and other fairy tales, but I haven’t delved into them yet.
I have read a handful of other YA fairy-tale themed books. The Grimm Curse (Once Upon a Time is Now) by Stephen Carpenter (he also produced the NBC series Grimm which I watched a couple of times and couldn’t get into) is a story about the last living descendant of the Brothers Grimm who discovers that fairy tales are happening in real life a small town in the Northwest. The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer was a cute story about twins who fall into a book of fairy tales–it had a good twist at the end. Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry is one of my favorites–it’s a fun origin story of Peter Pan.
Speaking of Peter Pan, two of my favorite retellings are derived from the story of Neverland. The movie Hook is my favorite version of Peter Pan. It does such justice to the original story while creating a whole new level to the tale.
The other is the movie Finding Neverland, which is a very sweet and sad story. If you haven’t watched them, I highly recommend both of them.
Of course, fairy tales are being created all the time. Some of my favorite fantastical books that aren’t based on classic fairy tales:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
And finally, two of my favorite Instagram accounts–@theredwritinghood and @thequotethief–post beautiful pictures with fairy tale/book quotes. Check them out! Some of my favorites:
I think what I love most about fairy tales is their ability to transcend–generations, genres, and medium.
What is your favorite fairy tale? Do you like retellings or do you prefer original stories?