Friday, April 29, 2011

My Love of Fairy Tales

Before I get into this, I wanted to spotlight the adorable Doodle of the Day! The Royal Wedding was this morning, but I slept in.

Also, since I'm in a fairy tale mood, here's the picture I may or may not have drawn at a Friday morning art class:

This is my fairy tale story:
It all started with Disney. I was raised watching Disney movies. I was born during "the Disney Renaissance" which went from 1989 - 1999. This is when the best Disney movies were released. Most of them were based on fairy tales or fables. I remember in the mornings I would go to our playroom and watch Disney movies late into the afternoon. I have never been the most active child because my nose has been buried in books and movies galore. I remember Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess, with Belle being a close second. I remember having my "Sleeping Beauty" dress, which wasn't more than a simple blue play dress (because I always thought her blue dress was prettier). I would sing and dance around in it all the time. Disney is also the reason I have somewhat pursued theater, but I'm not talking about that now.
We also rented "Faerie Tale Theatre" videos from a video store close to our house. I loved those a lot!
My parents used to own a large book of fairy tales with stunning black and white illustrations. I would always ask for it to be read to me. I especially loved Sleeping Beauty!.
Several years after all this had been going on, my family moved to Europe. We had lots of fun visiting all the different countries. My absolute favorite part of it all was visiting the castles. I have been to 4 castles. The Tower of London, Burg Ronneburg, Burg Eltz, and Versailles. Ronneburg is the least well known, but it was my favorite. We went there several times. They held medieval festivals in the spring and winter. I have several cute souvenirs from there. 
When I was 9ish, I found Ella Enchanted. I had watched the movie which I liked enough, and then I saw that it was a book. I read it and loved it, even though it was completely different from the movie. I began to seek out other Gail Carson Levine books. To my surprise, I saw that most of her books were based on fairy tales. This is when I learned of the genre of fairy tale retellings. It took until I was 12 to find any other books in that genre. I fell in love with Shannon Hale. I worship her in a way. I don't pray to her or anything, but I've read all her YA novels, I follow her blog. I repeatedly mention her and how much I love her (have I mentioned that?), and I've done so many other Shannon related things to show my love!
Now I continue to seek out fairy tale novels. I have yet to read a retelling of Sleeping Beauty besides GCL's Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep which is pretty short and is definetly aimed at a younger audience. 

These are some of the questions asked of Books from Bleh:
Why do they appeal to such a variety of readers? 
Everyone has heard them whether or not they wanted to. Luckily, almost everyone likes them. Parents like to buy fairy tale picture books. Everyone is able to relate to them in some way or another.
Why do so many of us come back to these same stories again and again? 
 Because there is a childish spirit hidden deep within them that people continue to seek out, hoping to find it and feel that childish spirit again.
 What about them interests or captivates you?
So many things. I think especially the characters. Usually they don't have very much background information to explain why they are how they are. They do lots of crazy things without reason. I like to think about the characters past, which helps predict their future (I believe this about all people).
What is it that brings you back?
The wonderful childhood memories. The intriguing stories and characters.  The lessons that are beautifully woven into these tales. The hope. The love.


  1. I love that you took your own post to talk about this! And I loved your responses!

    Also, Sleeping Beauty retellings I think you might like:

    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. This is an adult retelling, but one of my absolute favorites, and one that easily crosses age groups. LOVE it. It's set between Ancient Russia/Ukraine and modern America. Beautiful, beautiful story.

    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen: This one's YA, but a little tougher to read, and not a traditional take on the fairy tale. It uses the Holocaust as a back drop to the tale, and it kind of breaks your heart.

    Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey: Part of the Once Upon a Time series of fairy tale retellings, this takes a fun and interesting spin on Sleeping Beauty and has a great and 'plucky' heroine.

    Spindle's End by Robin McKinley: It's a good book, but not my favorite McKinley. But, since you are a lover of Sleeping Beauty, it's definitely one that I'd recommend you check out.

    This is by no means a complete list, but it should give you a good place to start! :)

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I've heard of all of them, but they've gotten buried in my to-read pile. I'll definitely try to find these!


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