8 Retellings of Myths, Legends, and Fairytales You Should Check Out

The concept of retellings has been around for a long time but became extremely popular within the last decade or so. Both books and movies have seen a resurgence in the retelling genre, satisfying those of us who love myths, fairytales, and retellings of them. When done right, there is a lot of original content … Read more

Before Peter Rabbit Was Turned Into a Cute Bunny

When we think of fairy tales, most of us imagine fawns cavorting in the forest, bluebirds spinning Cinderella’s ragged dress into a beautiful ball gown, and cute bunnies all to the backdrop of uplifting music. And at the end of the story, there is a simple moral to be learned that everyone knows will contribute … Read more

What’s Up With All The Filmed Fairy Tales?

A promo advertising a film about to be released called Hansel and Gretel, has me shaking my head and asking why now? Why all the fairy tale inspired, interpreted, twisted, films and TV now? They’ve been around for centuries and other than Disney, pretty much ignored. Besides Snow White, Disney has a tendency to lighten up its fairy tale fare. Not today’s offerings. Some seem to try to find the grisliest way to interpret what are quite violent stories to begin with. A few years ago a film was made about the Grimm brothers, and never made a sound as it sunk into the rental pool. Since that time, two TV shows, two new Snow White films, and now a Hansel and Gretel movie. None of them stick to the original sources.

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A Self Educated Lover Of Illustrated Children’s Books

My first taste of Golden Age Illustrators of children’s books, which is the period of the late 1800’s until a bit after World War I, was on a trip to England. My theatre class took the May term and traveled to London.  I had, and have a habit of buying art postcards from museums, tourist … Read more

When Did Children’s Books Become Political Fodder?

I am not taking a political point of view here, just asking the question of just how and when books written by the likes of Dr. Seuss become political footballs for individuals to kick around, trying to make some kind of cultural point? I don’t remember in my childhood any group of people asserting that Dick and Jane represented a right wing notion of conformity, or Mary Poppins is anti banks. Of course many books were written in an attempt to give children life lessons and points of morality, but to classify any one of them as subversive to one group or people or another, wasn’t dreamed of. Lately we’ve seen a lot of children’s entertainment come under fire by various groups and individuals. One of the Telly Tubbies was said to represent a gay individual, Sesame Street has come  under attack for stuff groups disapprove of–The Cookie Monster–promotes bad eating habits. Bert and Ernie–two male bachelors share an apartment and that can only mean one thing, right? The entire show is blamed for ADD. Looking more closely at the issue, I suppose some people will have difficulties with any work of literature–Alice in Wonderland has been banned in China for various strange reasons, and of course Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is pulled from classrooms for its language. It’s unacceptable today, even thought it was written over 100 years ago.

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The Best Books Of All Time

I asked myself, what does that mean? The best books of all time? Best fiction? Best nonfiction? Both? From what time frame–the beginning of time–do cave drawings count? Books–are plays included, how about poems, religious tomes, children’s books, what languages, the questions were endless, with no definitive answer. The lists I saw ranged from strict … Read more