Tag Archives: fairy tales

Importance of Fairy Tales

17 Aug

fairy talesFairy tales are one of my favorite genres to read, I love the magic, the mystery and the thought that these stories have been passed down through the generations. I love reading fractured fairy tales, different spins on old classics and modern re-tellings. I came across a few articles on Brightly that discuss fairy tales and wanted to add my own take.

Hear what Liesl Shurtliff, a middle grade author of fairy tales talk about the importance of taking fairy tales seriously, how fairy tales look simple from the outside, but when you really dig deep you find more questions than answers and maybe even some answers to questions you didn’t know you had.

Check out Melissa Taylor’s ten reasons why it’s important to read non-Disney fairy tales. Simple reasons like life lessons, more difficult reasons like cultural appreciation and scary in a safe context and more importantly – princesses don’t have dress codes that require them to wear pink.

And last (but certainly not least) – if you’re like me and believe that the fairy tales you know are mostly from Europe, you’d be surprised to find how many variations there are of the same story across the world. Lon Po Po is similar to Red Riding Hood in China, The Rough-Faced Girl is an Algonquin Cinderella story and The Talking Eggs is a Creole inspired fairy tale from Louisiana. You won’t want to miss this list of great multicultural fairy tales and if you stop by your local library, you’ll find even more great titles!

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: Beauty and the Beast Retellings

6 Jun

Beauty-Beast-2017-Movie-PostersI know, Beauty and the Beast is far from the feminine ideology of the 21st century, but I love it. Maybe it’s because Belle is a girl that gives everything for her family and a bookworm to boot, maybe it’s because the Beast gives Belle an entire library as a gift – either way, it’s my favorite Disney animated film and I thoroughly enjoyed the live-action adaptation that was recently released. And I know, beyond the fact that the story is lacking in the feminism department, it’s also fairly lacking in the diversity department – if anyone knows of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast that is also diverse, please let me know!

For this week, I created a list of ten Beauty and the Beast retellings that I want to read someday, I love fairy tale retellings and as this is my favorite tale, I’m sure to enjoy these as well! And just to cover my blog, the above poster is copyrighted to The Walt Disney Company and I’m using it solely to promote this blog post (plus I love the details!)

beauty beast

  1. Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn’t Run Away by Wendy Mass

  2. The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
  3. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
  4. As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass
  6. Beastly by Alex Finn
  7. Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
  8. Beauty by Robin McKinley
  9. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  10. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist

9 May
  1. Disabilities (other than Autism Spectrum)
    There are so many titles with characters on the Autism Spectrum, which I think is valuable, but there are so many other disabilities that can be portrayed and these books are not always easy to find.
  2. “Lighter” teen fiction
    I was the “good kid” in high school and didn’t enjoy reading the really heavy and dark material in the young adult department, I’m still not a huge fan of books that deal with such heavy topics in YA lit, probably because the story is too real. At least in middle grade, heavy topics are dealt with and usually have an underlying sliver of hope (which I cling to with a very strong grip) I’ll take Sarah Dessen’s work any day – dealing with heavy topics, but still a little on the lighter side.
  3. Biracial characters
    My boyfriend is biracial and although I’ve asked him about whether or not he missed seeing characters that looked like him in literature when he was young, it’s hard enough to find characters that aren’t white, let alone characters who are Black & Hispanic, Asian & Black, etc.
  4. Magical Realism
    I absolutely adored A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and loved the sprinkle of magic in a very realistic setting. Whenever I can get a little magic, it’s just the right amount!
  5. Diversity in Fantasy & Science Fiction
    Diversity in realistic fiction has its own difficulties, don’t even try to find diversity in Fantasy and Science Fiction, it’s even more difficult! Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older and a few characters in the popular Hunger Games trilogy are specifically described as not being white, but without it being stated in the text, many people will read characters as white.
  6. Modern Fairy Tales
    Can anyone say The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey or The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill? These are amazing modern fairytales, not retellings of a story we already know, but a brand-new story and I love them!
  7. Sports stories with female protagonists
    There are some solid sports middle grade fiction with male protagonists like Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Booked by Kwame Alexander and while I Loved (with a capital L) these books, I’d love to see strong female athletes as this is a group of kids who are sometimes reluctant readers and it can be difficult to find something they can relate to.
  8. Individual stories that converge at the end
    The easiest example of this concept is Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, where three seemingly separate stories are connected through the harmonica and in the end all the stories combine and get interwoven together.
  9. Historical fiction for middle grade readers
    I love historical fiction (always have), so things like The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson, Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper and The Marvels by Brian Selznick are some of my favorite reads!
  10. Diversity without screaming “THIS IS A DIVERSE BOOK”
    Always on the lookout for the books that are diverse without screaming “DIVERSITY, RIGHT HERE!” I really enjoyed Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor have diversity at their core, but you don’t read them thinking, “Of course, I see the diversity staring me in the face.”

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

Top Ten Tuesday:Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read

17 Jan

hidden gems.png

  1. Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
    A novel about what it’s like to want the best for someone else, but also feeling guilty for wanting something for yourself.
  2. The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan
    A historical fiction, mystery novel about the first female detective for the Pinkerton Agency in 1859 – she might even have the chance to save Lincoln’s life!
  3. The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
    The perfect book for those looking for adventure in a fun and quirky package!
  4. The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
    Firefly Lane is the perfect utopian society until Ilana moves in, then the kids start asking questions…
  5. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
    Corinne’s story is rooted in Caribbean folklore – a great story for those who love fracture fairy tales and fairy tales re-done.
  6. Last in a Long Ling of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre
    Lou learns about her family’s past as she tries to save her family’s home from being condemned – a story that doesn’t shy away from slavery, racism and prejudice both in the past and in present time.
  7. The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
    A story that spans generations – this is a beautiful story of friendship among the most unlikely of people.
  8. Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit by Octavia Spencer
    Randi Rhodes is not only a ninja but also a detective and she’ll need all her wits about her to save the Founder’s Day Festival and her small town.
  9. The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
    Another folktale-esque story of a peasant girl and a princess who are charged with a quest to cure Aon’s sadness, but prevent the fall of monarchy at the same time.
  10. The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
    Brine Seaborne (best name ever) has a past that she can’t remember, but with the help of an obnoxious apprentice, Peter, some pirates and a little bit of magic, she may discover who her parents are or they’ll be eaten by sea monsters – either one!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created byThe Broke and the Bookish

Book Review: When the Sea Turned To Silver

27 Dec

28449045I just finished When the Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin this morning.  And I’m not surprised at how lovely it is.  Grace does an amazing job at integrating Chinese folklore seamlessly into a tale all her own.  This is the third companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. And what I like most about these novels is that you could easily read them as stand alone stories, but if you pay close attention they are all woven together with characters, stories and locations.

Pinmei’s grandmother is taken away by soldiers of the emperor and it is up to Pinmei and her friend, Yishan to save her because without her grandmother’s stories, Pinmei’s world is in a forever state of winter.  Pinmei and Yishan travel to the City of Bright Moonlight, to the Sea Bottom and to the Emperor’s palace to save her grandmother all the while folktales bring to light more of the story than you would know otherwise.  The beautiful and lyrical storytelling is brought to life by gorgeous illustrations that call to mind the ancient art of China.

This would be a beautiful series to share aloud as I can only imagine the stories would be amazing to listen to and as I said you can read each book individually or read them together for an even richer experience. What I also love is that Grace provides a bibliography of where she found her stories, which leads me to believe that this is not only a gorgeous book to discover, but that it is also historically and culturally accurate.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): It’s up to quiet, little mouse Pinmei to save her storytelling grandmother from the emperor in When the Sea Turned To Silver by @pacylin

Title: When the Sea Turned To Silver
Author: Grace Lin
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 370pgs.

%d bloggers like this: