|Winslow Homer, A Girl Reading Under An Oak Tree, 1879|
Yesterday, February 26, was Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Certainly there are a lot of tried and true favorites from our younger days, but why not try something a little different? Generally, fairy tales have supernatural creatures, a moral issue and a happy ending. The following titles feature most of those characteristics, but have a bit of a modern twist. Try one and celebrate the classic fairy tale in style.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly The young hero travels to a land where books speak to him and fairy tales come alive. While there and trying to return home, he must learn who he is, the meaning of bravery, loyalty and honor.
My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer A collection of classic tales (some quite disturbing, others hilarious) retold by well known fiction authors. Each story has an intro by the author describing his or her inspiration. Most of the tales are only a few pages long, so this is a good bedtime read.
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue. A young boy wakes in the woods and, over a long period of time, realizes that he has become a changeling. He wants to go back home, but things never work out the way hewants them to. In the end, he does find his way back, but it is a bittersweet homecoming.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan.
A beautifully illustrated graphic novel (with no text at all) that tells the tale of a flight from home, living in a strange land, finding friends and the discovery of a new life. Highly recommended.
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart. The author originally intended to publish seven books, but because of a dispute with his publisher, vowed never to publish again. A great loss, because the trilogy we do have is fantastic. The stories feature a crotchety elder Chinese scholar, his strong, young (but not too bright) student, and a multitude of problems from which they must extract themselves. The themes are based on Chinese philosophy and feature an astounding variety of supernatural creatures from the pantheon, but these books are pure satire. You will laugh out loud.