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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fairy Tales or Feary Tales

I really find it very difficult to pick up the right story book for kids. My Blogging Mamma Mind doesn't allow me to pick up any random story book now.
Snowhite- All this while a loved story that I reject because of "Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of all" and stepmother issue.
Pied Piper of Hamelin- I never really enjoyed this story. The punishment went to someone not even involved in the transaction. But I loved the ballad form that I studied for ICSE Board. I reject this because of the sad ending, because in the end the kidnapper won inspite of the fact that he was wronged.
Hansel and Gretel- Great to talk of brother-sister love but step mother bit caused me to reject.
Cinderella- I always enjoyed this story but my blogging brain started thinking about step family cruelty, father not doing anything to support cinderella and child labour. Reject.
Ugly Duckling- Stigma of being ugly. Still it is the most acceptable among the rest inspite of theme. It has lot of other animals that take the attention away.

Every story I pick up has something related to step mother, witch, cruelty, father not involved in the child, fair is beautiful, child labour.
The relatively safe stories were - Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood (scary but can do a lot of action drama to nullify that), Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Jack & the Beanstalk (though it carries tales of deceit I found it less offensive than the rest).
Fairy Tales are so foreign and my patriotic & traditional brain wants to look for Indian stories which are a mixture of fun & moral- jatak katha with animals, mythological tales, panchtantra tales etc. There is a whole lot of options available for as low as Rs 20. Large print books with pictures with a moral behind it. Lot of animals to help send the message across.
And off course there is always Noddy books.


How do we know said...

What do u think of Amar Chitra katha? I m planning to use those..

Kodi's Mom said...

agree with you. for me, it is not that the fairy tales sound foreign, but they have so much negativity in them and there's only so much filtering you can do. maybe we should wait till the target audience is a bit older (say 6+)? or maybe we're just softies! we should just give it to them and let them deal with it! ;)

Rohini said...

Yup most of the Mother Goose and Grimm stuff is fairly macabre. Some of them actually have roots in gory, historical events. Had a done a post on this ages ago if you are interested

Rohini said...

Just noticed - you had already commented on it :-)

DotMom said...

I have dealt with the same issue..I think you should wait on those until the twins are a lil older. they will automatically start to question - your kids are smart. I don't think you should shy away from these tales. After all, they didn't harm us!

Suma said...

yes i agree. i think we have wonderful indian options too...tho jataka tales also has a lot of violence but i guess if u r reading them aloud, u could skip those sections..the problemn is if they are picturised in te amarchitra katha format..then it gets difficult to explain why teh crow pecked someone's eye out etc...

Chaitali Patel said...

Try karadi tales...they come with tapes/cds with a well known person reading the story out...thus children learn to recognise sounds and associate words with pictures. They are available in English, Hindi and I think Tamil.

Itchingtowrite said...

how do we know- i loved ACK but suitabl for when they are older becoz the joy in ACK is self reading according to me- look at pictures, expressions and read but since the paper qlty is flimsy, I woulddn't risk giving them now, i am toosentimental abt ack's .
but even indian epic stories are full of deceit, murder and cheating.

k's mom- yes when i pick up fairy tales i usually chck whether the gory details have beenf iltered out or not.. most cases for 2 year olds they are filtered out but as they grow older they are not.

rohini- yes, i njoyed reading the post again... i had forgotten abt it. the thoughts on these came up suddenly becoz i was picking up sticker books for my kids & some other story books for a kid's b'day. at this stage, the sticker books are rlatively save bcause they focus on pictorials and not the complete details. so must of the woerd stuff are left out. My point of viw is related to books for 2-3 year old ones.

dotmom- probably once they grow up, they will learn to take it in the spirit of a story rather than the bad parts. sad thing is that most of th rhymes & stories are based on things that were awful.

suma- true, i hate th one in which the crocodile wanted toe at the monkeys liver. found it difficult to explain. in the end i just said that monkey had bought chicken and crocodile wanted to eat that.

chaitali- yes i 'll pick them up some time latr when they are old enuf to sit and listen

artnavy said...

karadi comes with books which are illustarted and can be read as well- be it cd or tape

u will be surprised how awful panchatantra/ moral/jataka tales can be- very violent and b&W in characterisation