Explore fairy tales and fables

Fairy tales and fables have delighted and fascinated children and adults in many countries for years. A brief explanation of fairy tales and fables would say they contain magical elements, are set in the past, warn of danger and convey a moral or right a wrong. They may not all begin with “Once upon a time,” but they usually end with “happily ever after.”

The first fairy tale book from childhood I remember owning was the Disney version of “Cinderella.” I have read many Cinderella stories, with each author telling of slightly different events or names. What a joy to look on Tiffin-Seneca Public Library’s Junior Library shelves and to discover these treasures of Cinderella: “Cendrillon” (j398.2 SAN) , a Caribbean Cinderella, and “Little Gold Star” j398.209 S, a Spanish American Cinderella, both by Robert D. San Souci; a bilingual “Little Gold Star” ( j398.209 HAY) by Joe Hayes; and “Walt Disney’s Cinderella” (j398.209 RYL) retold by Cynthia Rylant. Look in the Junior Easy books for “Walt Disney’s Cinderella” (JE DIS). In the rhyming story “Cinderella Skeleton”( j398.2 SAN) by Robert D. San Souci, Cinderella finds her prince at a Halloween ball. Newbery Award-winning author Paul Fleischman brings together Cinderella stories from across Mexico, Iran, Korea, Russia and Appalachia in “Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal” (JE FLE.)

Two books to spend some time reading are “Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales” (j398.2 GRI) (also available in electronic format) and “Hans Andersen, His Classic Fairy Tales” (j398.4 AND.) Two brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, loved a really good story and worked most of their adult lives collecting, editing and rewriting 211 stories and folktales. They made the phrase “once upon a time” part of our vocabulary and influenced future writers of fairy tales. Read Andersen and the brothers Grimm when you are ready to enter the world of magic, myth and enchantment.

There are many tales to tell and so many ways to tell them. Recent renditions of old-time favorites might leave you wondering what the original story was like. A recent arrival in the Junior Library is “Waking Beauty” (JE WIL) by Leah Wilcox. The original story may be easy to guess, but the new twists and turns in the plot are hilarious. This story form is referred to as “fractured fairy tales.” Another popular title “The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales,” (JE SCH), by Jon Schieszka and Lane Smith, gives us stories that include “The Really Ugly Duckling,” “Little Red Running Shorts” and of course, “The Stinky Cheese Man.”

“Crafts From Your Favorite Fairy Tales” by Kathy Ross (745.5 ROS) features crafts from 20 different tales. You may try your hand at making puppets, puzzles, mobiles and more.

Type the words “fairy tales” in Tiffin-Seneca Public Library’s online public catalog and you will find 489 entries in print form, media and Spanish. You may be surprised to find there are books are in the adult and teen areas, as well as in the Junior Library. Hitch a ride on a magic carpet through a fairy tale world where anything goes!

Constance Kerby Cole is a children’s librarian and manager of the Junior Library at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.