If you are tired of sanitized fairy tales for children, you know, where Hansel and Gretel just wander into the woods for some reason and their greatest threat is getting some cavities or the one where the Little Mermaid lives happily ever after, then check out this interview on Byline with Harley Sims.
Dr. Sims has his PhD in English from U of T, specializing in medieval literature, linguistics and heroic tales.
He might have read every childrens book published in the last century.
He’s also a Sun News Network contributor and my husband.
Oh, and he’s a grammar and spelling nut too. I hope he ignores, my, comma, splices.
Sun News Network – Byline with Brian Lilley
If you want to read and watch some good stuff, Dr. Sims has some great recommendations (and I agree with him!) :
Story Book International
Stunningly well done TV series, yet nearly unknown in Canada. Available on DVD.
Folk tales shot on location in villages around the world. Live actors with an animated introduction. Narrated, enchanting and authentic.
Dozens of episodes tell tales from all parts of the world: from New Zealand’s Maori tribes to Canada’s founding garrisons to Russia’s hamlets.
Scott Gustafson’s Classic Fairy Tales
Scott Gustafson is a stunning artist. Sometimes spending months on a painting, he illustrates classic tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel in defining clarity. They become benchmarks in the mind. Large and hardcover, the book quickly becomes a mainstay for story time.
Highly recommended for parents and children.
Faerie Tale Theatre
The critically acclaimed American show from the 1980s is now available as a complete DVD set. Many of the episodes are very well done, including Jack and the Bean Stalk, Rapunzel, The Nighting Gale and Aladdin. Starring many big names of the time, Shelley Duvall went to great lengths to tell great stories.
Andrew Lang’s “Rainbow” Fairy Books
This is for the hardcore fairy tale and folklore readers who want to read the “originals” as they were most likely captured from oral stories handed down from who knows when. “Complete and unabridged, every word, every illustration.” Some of them are by known authors, too, like the Little Mermaid.
There is a book for pretty much every colour: blue, red, lilac, grey, brown, etc. Highly recommended. You will learn that the dwarfs didn’t have silly names and the hunted maiden was first named Snow Drop. We think.
Includes the Cinderella where the step sisters cut off their toes and heels to fit into the slipper.
Not exactly flowing script and entertaining content for children, but a must have for adults and teens.