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  1. #1

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    Happily Ever After...

    I happen to collect stories...hey everyone has to have a hobby. I mean grimm's fairytales, the stories of Charles Perrault, Pentamerone, the 1001 arabian nights, the Wizard of Oz books, Alice in Wonderland, and other "escapist children's literature" as I put it.

    So I thought it would be good to ask...

    what are your faveourite fairytales, or children's books?

    Mine are,

    The Snow Queen A Beautiful story about the value of friendship and love. Kay and Gerda and their adventures in a magical world where each season is looked over by a beautiful maiden. From the Snow Queen and her icy palace to the Lady of Spring and her garden that's eternally spring even when it's winter outside. Sure the original Hans Christian Andersen version is ripe with christian symbolism, but it doesnt detract from the beautiful story.

    The Little Mermaid The original story is full of themes of lost love, and learning to wait til one is ready for love. I love the concept of the little mermaid having to endure the feeling of walking on blades when walking on land because it isn't her natural habitat. Which wasn't a part of the Disney adaptation. In the end the Little Mermaid becomes a daughter of the air and gets to watch over the prince she loved so much for all eternity...kind of sad when you want her to be with the prince and live happily ever after, but this is after all a victorian fairytale, and the victorian era was very very gloomy.

    Puss n' Boots Not many people are familiar with the story. Besides the iconic figure of a cat that dresses like one of the three musketeers, and of course his starring role in Shrek 2 and 3. But when you read the story you'll find it very funny that Puss was hired to kill Shrek in Shrek 2. As Puss originally killed an ogre in his original story. I personally like this story because I love trickster characters. Puss not only pulls the strings to put his master in a higher social class...but arranges so that he can live in the lap of luxury. Kind of a feline fairy godmother. And who wouldn't want a fluffy kitten to arrange for you to find your match.

    The Wizard of Oz America's very own fairytale. Everyone knows the basic premise of the story from the classic 1939 film. Everyone knows the characters. Everyone wishes to be taken away by a twister and taken to a technicolour landscape where you can wear fabulous shoes and befriend talking scarecrows, tap dancing tin men, and lions scared of their own shadows. But after all these amazing adventures you share with Dorothy in Oz, you realize one thing....

    ...there's no place like home.

    Beauty and the Beast The Disney adaptation keeps VERY close to the original story. I think more children need to be exposed to this story and learn that beauty really is on the inside. Appearances truly are deceiving in this tale- and many others like it in the era were meant to teach girls to accept their potential husbands, as in that time fathers would marry off their daughters to gain social standing and wealth. However I choose to look past that and think instead of the message of beauty being on the inside.

    Pippi Longstocking When I was a child my mother would read this book to me EVERY night. As well as others in the series. I would love to hear the stories of this little girl who couldn't be kept down by the world. I'll always remember when she took the local children to the candy store and treated them all to whatever candy they wished..or how she went to a store and just wanted to buy a mannequin arm, or when she went to the circus and ended up with a tiger as a pet. As a Child I was drawn to the wacky nature of the stories. I wanted Pippi as a best friend. Recently I bought the books for my little sister and she too loves the stories as much as I did.

    there are many more stories like this that I adore. But these are the first ones off the top of my head I wanted to mention


    So what are yourse and why?

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    Professor Phantasma- Making inopportune comments about your Uggs since 2006



  2. #2

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    Re: Happily Ever After...

    "Alexander and the Terrible Rotten No Good Very Bad Day."
    Not a typical classic. Not written in the Victorian era, but it's one of those books that even as a grown up I still go to when I've had a bad day.

  3. #3

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    Re: Happily Ever After...

    I love that story becuase it shows to kids that bad things happen..and that bad things typically are fleeting.

    I also love Amelia Bedilia how she "dresses" the turkey by putting it into Leiderhosen, or how when they tell her to put out the lights, and she puts it on a clothes hanger outside. I like wacky stories like that.

    I found an amazing book called Frankenstien Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex. It is kind of on the lines of a Shel Silverstien poetry book...only it's all about monsters and how they're like everyday people. Some of the Poems are "The Phantom of the Opera can't get it's a small world, out of his head", "Dracula doesn't know he has spinach in his teeth", and the classic "Godzilla Pooped on my Honda".. I HAD to get it for my little sister for christmas

    Muppets are Totally Ab-Fab!

    Professor Phantasma- Making inopportune comments about your Uggs since 2006



  4. #4

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    Re: Happily Ever After...

    Might I add that you should probably wait til the little kids are a bit older before you give them Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales.

    I mean take the Juniper Tree as an example. In this story a man marries a wicked woman who wants her daughter to be the heir of the father. So she tries at every chance to make the son of her husband as miserable as possible. But her daughter truly loved the son, and they were best friends. One day the wicked stepmother told the son that there were beautiful juicy apples at the bottom of a large chest with a heavy lid. When she opened the chest she let the boy look to the bottom and as soon as his head was in the chest..SNAP she shut the chest down and beheaded the son. Soon she took the boy and propped his head on his body in the corner with a handkerchief around his neck. As the daughter came home she tried to talk to the boy, and when he didn't answer she lost her patience and boxed him about the ear. Causing his head to fly off..

    ...the traumatized girl came crying to the wicked stepmother, who told the girl that she would never tell the father if she helped her. And the mother soon cooked the boys remains in a stew which she fed to the father. The traumatized young girl took the boys bones and buried them under a beautiful juniper tree in the yard. Each day she would come to it and cry under it. And each day the tree would grow and grow more beautiful.


    One day a bird appeared in the Juniper tree and sang a beautiful song.

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    Soon the bird flew to the nearbye town and perched outside of the Goldsmith's shop. Here he began to sing again.

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    When the Goldsmith heard this and came outside he begged the bird to repeat the song.

    "I will, but first please give me the gold chain that hangs in your window"

    To which the goldsmith agreed and as soon as he placed the gold chain around the bird's neck it began it's song again.

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    after it finished it's song the bird flew back to the juniper tree.

    The next day the bird flew back to the town and to the shoemaker's shop. Here he sang the song again.

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    The Shoemaker was entranced by the song and ran outside to hear the bird. Asking the bird to sing again the shoemaker was greeted with the same response as the goldsmith.

    "I will, but first give me the pair of beautiful red boots in the window."

    To which the shoemaker did. As soon as he placed the red boots next to the bird, it sang again:

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    The Bird then took the boots in its claws and flew back to the juniper tree.

    On the third day the Bird flew back to the village and the Miller. By now many in the village had heard of the mysterious talking bird, and were ready for his song.

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"
    When the Miller ran out and asked to hear the song again the bird gave the condition that he would
    "If you give me the new millstone that sits out back waiting to be installed"

    To which the miller agreed. Four strong men walked back and picked up the millstone which they then placed near the bird, who put it around his neck and began to fly back to the juniper tree, while singing:

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"


    The people in town followed the bird back to the juniper tree and watched as he continued to sing. The Father soon ran out of the house to see what was amiss, when he arrived the bird flew and placed the gold chain around his neck.

    Soon the sister ran out to see what was amiss, when she arrived the bird flew down and placed the red boots by her feet.

    Finally the wicked stepmother ran out..partially hoping the bird would give her a gift, and partially in fear of what the bird's song would reveal. It swooped around the stepmother singing in a harsh mocking tone...much different from the sweet song it had been singing before:

    "My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me, Only My Sister Mourned Me, What a Pretty Bird am I, What a Pretty Bird Am I"

    and at the end of the song the bird flew back in the tree only to return with the heavy millstone again around it's neck..

    with a final cry the bird dropped the stone on the wicked stepmother...instantly killing her.

    In the comotion beneath the juniper tree the bird laid to rest...in a swirl of smoke the bird transformed into the young boy, who smiled at his father and stepsister, and after giving both a hug, when back inside to eat dinner...


    ...which was presumably not stew!

    and they all lived happily ever after

    Muppets are Totally Ab-Fab!

    Professor Phantasma- Making inopportune comments about your Uggs since 2006



  5. #5

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    Re: Happily Ever After...

    Great topic, MrLefou!

    I too love a good classic fairytale. I have several Grimms books, one an illustrated book called The Big Book of Grimm. I also bought on my last trip to Disney a biography on them in Germany in Epcot.

    I'd like to recommend the comic book series Fables. This is an on-going series about the fairy tale characters we grew up with who have been chased out of their homelands by an evil Adversary and live amongst us in modern day New York. Each issue builds off the last and is brilliantly written and has some beautiful art work. The series is a monthly comic and is also collected in several graphic novels. It also ahd a spin off book called Jack of Fables.

    There is some great characterzation in the book for the Fables, Snow White and Bigby Wolf (AKA The Big Bad Wolf) are especially my favorites. And when you find out who the Adversary is, well, it's pretty surprising. (Even more so was when word go out who was supposed to originally be the Adversary)

    Anyway, check out the trades, the first one is Legends in Exile, and has a marvellous prose story at the back. I hope you like it if you check it out.

    OH! Another favorite fairy tale, though one written only about 30 or so years ago, is The Princess Bride.

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