{FTF} These are a few of my favorite things...

When you think of fairy tales, what immediately comes to mind?  The danger?  The adventure?  The romance?  The Happily Ever After?

What are your favorite fairy tales?  What draws you to them beyond all others?

My all-time favorite fairy tale is THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES.  I honestly couldn't tell you why, but I've always loved it.  In French class, we once had to translate a fairy tale into French, and this was the one I chose.  Maybe it was the idea of dancing all night long, maybe it was the terror of where the girls danced, maybe it was the romance of an ordinary boy discovering the answer and being able to marry the girl  he'd fallen in love with despite his rank (There are several versions of the tale; this one was my favorite version).  All I know is that I adored it!  I've read some great re-tellings of this classic tale over the last few years, my favorites being ENTWINED by Heather Dixon and PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL by Jessica Day George.

Another favorite fairy tale of mine is THE LITTLE MERMAID.  I know where this one comes from.  1) Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID was my favorite movie when it first came out.  I would sing the songs upstairs until my mom would yell up that I was being too loud.  2)  It's about a mermaid!  You all know how I feel about mermaids.  I really do think that Disney and Ariel are partially to blame for this obsession. 
You may not know this, but I actually like the original Hans Christian Andersen story, even though it doesn't have a happy ending.  A lot of people dislike the original because of this and like to believe that Disney's version is the official one.  I'm always surprised when people don't know the original tale, but many don't.  Maybe it's sadistic of me, but I do like a heartbreaking story. My favorite retelling so far is Caroyln Turgeon's MERMAID, which grabbed me because it was based more on the original tale than it was the more well-known version.  I love that it's told from two POVs, only one being the mermaid's, and the other being the princess we all forget about as we read.  Plus, the writing is beautiful!

Another all-time favorite is BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  Again, I blame Disney.  When I was little, I wanted to be Belle.  Seriously!  Before I even knew what acting or theatre was, I had a dress-up box with all kinds of props, from a plastic rose from the craft store to an old Dorothy costume, to a stuffed My Little Pony roped onto a broomstick.  I would put together my own production of the Disney version of the tale, talking along with the audiotape I had of the film whenever "my" lines came up.  Belle was a reader like me, she had imagination, and she was brunette.  I loved her.  I wanted to be her.
One of my all-time favorite fairy tale retellings is a BEAUTY AND THE BEAST one, Juliet Marillier's amazing HEART'S BLOOD.  Maybe it's only because I read this before Marillier's acclaimed series, but I love this book the most out of everything she's done.

There are several other fairy tales and retellings I love, and many fairy tale retellings that I devoured and consider to be favorites.

Retellings introduce us to tales we might not otherwise know existed.  Would I know about the amazingness of rarer tales such as EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON if I hadn't read three fabulous retellings?  Would I be able to see different retellings of Cinderella that reflect on the versions told in different countries around the globe? 

Maybe, maybe not.

This is one reason I love retellings so much.  They teach me so much and introduce me to new stories, cultures, and ways of life than I could ever have experienced on my own.


  1. I loved Beauty and the Beast from Disney too, though my favorite was always Sleeping Beauty. I remember seeing Little Mermaid in the theater (ooh, does that age me?) and just loving the songs. I don't think I've read the original of that, though I have heard it's not a happy ending. Great post!

  2. Great post. I'm one of those people who prefer the Disney version to the original tale - but that's more because I have a problem with the mermaid's absurdly subservient role, that unlike other tales, she's not rewarded for. She does everything for that stupid prince, and then he goes an marries another girl, who kind of takes credit for something she didn't do. (Always bothered me.) So basically, I got, you meet your true love, give up everything for him, and then he marries another woman.

  3. The Disney apppeal is because they always end happy. But a lot of fairy tales don't end happy.
    Though I do love Entwined. I think it's my favorite. There's a website that has a book of French fairy tales translated to English that I've never read before and I'm slowly reading them. They are nothing like any fairy tales I've read before, but I am loving them.



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