March 17 through the 23rd marks World Folktales & Fables Week, so now would be the perfect time to start collecting the appropriate reading materials.  As for me, I'm completely obsessed with fairy tales.  No shame.  There is something incredibly seductive about these cautionary tales disguised as children's stories.  The latent sexual tension in "Little Red Riding Hood," for example, is completely twisted.  A little girl is consumed by a wolf and emerges as an emotionally awakened woman?!  It's a small blessing that kids can't read between the lines, amiright?  But that's what makes fairy tales so popular: THEY'RE BASICALLY ALL ABOUT SEX. And peeps be loving their sex.  

red kitty

Kitteh likes to READ.

I also love that people keep finding clever (and, let's face it, not so clever) ways to reinvent fairy tales.  One of my favorite collection of short stories is The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, which takes the classics (Puss In Boots, Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, The Snow Child, Little Red Riding Hood) and covers them with kisses.  These stories are dark, smutty, and haunting - basically everything I wanted out of Disney movies as a kid.

sexy fairy tales

Better than the movies? Um, DUH.

On the "less adult" side, I'm really enjoying Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, a YA quartet featuring classic fairy tale females like Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Little Red.  EXCEPT THEY LIVE IN THE FUTURE.  And Cinderella is a cyborg.  And there are plenty of other weird but welcome twists to the old tales, but DON'T SPOIL ANYTHING FOR ME, PLEASE. I've only read the first two books so far, ya creeps.

cinder cover

Fierce. Why's the shoe red, tho?

Besides what I've already mentioned, there are some groovy fairy tale anthologies out there, many of which feature some pretty stellar illustrations to go alongside the text (why am I suddenly talking like a hippie???!!).  One recommendation is Philip Pullman's collection, Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm.  No reinvention here, just an honest, beautifully descriptive look at the original tales (more appropriate for reading with your children than, say, The Bloody Chamber).  For something more offbeat, take a look at Kate Bernheimer's compilation, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, with stories from a variety of authors - Neil Gaiman!!! - that tackle a whole slew of familiar fairy tales.

my mother she killed me cover

It took me like three days to figure out what this cover illustration was supposed to be. Don't worry, I've got it now.

 

 

By    No Comments

So, what do you think?