Everyone’s taste is different, of course, but my favorite fairy tales are ones that are irreducibly strange. When I was drafting my new novel, The Glass Casket, I kept thinking back to the fairy tales that appealed to me as a child. They were often
Maria Tatar is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. Her latest book The Annotated Peter Pan is a glorious celebration of the centenary of the first publication of the novel, originally entitled Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie. It features a splendid array of photographs and illustrations, many reproduced for the first time, including The Boy Castaways of Black Lane Island. The book also includes a compilation of responses from famed artists, including Barrie’s contemporaries such as as Virginia Woolf and Mark Twain, to his work. For more on Tatar’s discoveries and Barrie’s creation of Peter Pan, please read on.
Fairy tales have the power to teach us valuable lessons about love, loyalty and friendship. In these stories, characters are transformed into magical beings, sacrifices are made in their honor and small creatures perform enormous acts of courage and daring. These classic stories have been told for many generations and yet their legend grows richer with each telling.
If the phrase, “The better to eat you with!” struck terror in your childhood heart, fear not, these inventive retellings of the classic Little Red Riding Hood story will delight your little ones. The Brothers Grimm were especially gifted at creating dark and often haunting fairy tales, but these books below have a bit more gentle appeal. They also may serve as a great conversation starter with your children about the inherent danger of talking to strangers. As the moral of the folktale advises, children should beware of the charming and kind wolf perhaps most of all.