Anyone that knows me, knows that I love fairy tales. Actually I take that back…I’m OBSESSED with fairy tales. One of the first books that I ever bought with my allowance was English Fairy Tales. It was hard cover, with yellow cloth and it has a picture of a giant holding a tiny ax. I was eleven years old at the time. I was lonely, nerdy, didn’t fit in with anyone at school and the only escape that I had was in books.
Anyway it’s safe to say that I quickly became obsessed with fairy tales. I devoured books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, among others that I’ll list some other time. 🙂
Here is a list of my favorite fairy tales and why:
1. Snow White ~ First story I ever read that featured a brunette. But I like Snow White because she is complicated; she lost her mother, and then her father. She was left with a hateful stepmother that envied her, tried to kill her and she overcame all of these different obstacles: being poisoned with a comb, strangled with ribbons and then ultimately killed with a poisoned apple. I think it was Snow White’s vanity that killed her (because the seven dwarves warned her not to let anyone in and she disobeyed). She had a lot of harsh lessons to learn. This is why she’s my favorite princess.
2. Alice in Wonderland ~ This story is just plain fun. White rabbit, mad hatters, talking caterpillars (that smokes a hookah, thankyouverymuch), a crazy-head-chopping queen of hearts and a very confused little girl named Alice.
This fairy tale is a little obscure so if you’ve never heard of it, here’s a little info I got from Wikipedia. I first read about it in Michael Hague’s Tales of Charles Perrault.
A bad-tempered old widow had two daughters, her older daughter was disagreeable and proud but looked and behaved like her mother, and therefore was her favorite child. She and her eldest daughter badly mistreated the woman’s younger daughter, who was sweet, courteous, and beautiful, but resembled her late father.
One day while drawing water from the well, the younger daughter was asked for a drink by an old woman. The girl politely consented and after giving it, she found that the woman was a fairy, who had taken the guise of a crone to test the character of mortals. As the girl was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blessed her with having either a jewel, a diamond or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke.
Upon arriving home and explaining why she took so long to her mother, the widow was delighted at the sight of diamonds, pearls and roses falling from the girl’s lips, and desired that her favored eldest daughter, Fanny, should have the gift as well. Fanny protested, but the widow forcibly sent her to the well with instruction to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny set off but the fairy appeared as a fine princess, and requested that the girl draw her a drink from the well. The elder daughter spoke rudely to the fairy and insulted her. The fairy decreed that, as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or a snake would fall from Fanny’s mouth whenever she spoke.
When Fanny arrived home, she told her story to her mother and disgusting toads and vipers fell from her mouth with each word. The widow, in a fury, drove her younger daughter out of the house. In the woods, she met a king’s son, who fell in love with her and married her. In time, even the widow was sickened by her older daughter, and drove her out, and she died alone and miserable in the woods.
I’m using these characters in the sequel to First Frost. Safe to say…I’m having tons of fun.
4. The Three Heads of the Well ~ I like this story because the main character sets out to seek her fortune.
This is another slightly obscure fairy tale:
In the days before King Arthur, a king held his court in Colchester. He had a beautiful daughter by his beautiful wife, but when his wife died, he married a hideous widow with a daughter of her own, for her riches, and his new wife set him against his daughter. His daughter begged leave to go and seek her fortune, and he permitted it, and his wife gave her brown bread, hard cheese, and a bottle of beer.
She goes on her way and sees an old man sitting on a stone. When he asks what she has, she tells him and offers him some. After they eat, he tells her how to get through a hedge, and that she will find three golden heads in a well there, and should do whatever they tell her.
The heads ask her to comb them and wash them, and after she does so, one says she shall be beautiful, the next that she will have a sweet voice, and the third that she shall be fortunate and queen to the greatest prince that reigns.
She goes on, and a king sees her and falls in love with her. They marry and go back to visit her father. Her stepmother is enraged that her stepdaughter and not her daughter gained all this, and sent her daughter on the same journey. The daughter was rude to the old man, and slighted the three heads, and they curse her with leprosy, a harsh voice, and marriage to a cobbler.
She goes on. A cobbler offers to cure her leprosy and voice if she will marry him, and she agrees.
Her mother, finding she had married a cobbler, hangs herself, and the king gives his stepdaughter’s husband a hundred pounds to quit the court and live elsewhere.
5. Beauty and the Beast ~ I love this fairy tale because the moral of the story is to search for inner beauty. And of course my favorite is the Disney version…seriously…I would totally marry the Beast just for the library. I remember the first time I saw the movie and my jaw dropped when I saw the library scene. I wanted to live there. :
6. Snow White and Rose Red ~ Sometimes they refer to Snow White as Rose White. I like this story because they seem to get into mischief with the dwarf. Some of my favorite stories have bears in them. LOL. I wonder what that says about me? Hmmm…I wonder.
7. Cinderella ~ Classic fairy tale. It has everything, wicked stepmother, wicked stepsisters, glass slippers, fairy godmothers, a ball, and a prince. What’s not to love?
Hint, hint, Cinderella’s glass slipper will be a major item of interest in the sequel to First Frost. 🙂
Anyway, those are just some of my favorites, I had to stop myself from adding more because otherwise this would’ve been a ridiculously long blog post. I guess some people would find my fascination with fairy tales strange. But I like to think that we all need a little magic and whimsy in our lives. This is why books are crucial to our existence. It’s a safe way to escape. And you’re probably wondering why so many writers use fairy tales in their writing. My response? WHY NOT! All of these stories are just an endless fountain of inspiration.
I can only hope that you all enjoy my book First Frost, all I have ever wanted to do was have a bit of fun and entertain people with my work.
~ Liz DeJesus
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is.