marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

fairy tale philosophy

Had a bit of a cold, needed a break, and so for the last days amused myself much of the time with Fairy Tale Art.

Easily obtained by getting out a pile of fairy tale picture books from the library.

Of which I easily recommend Trina Schart Hyman's versions of The Sleeping Beauty, The Water Of Life< Snow White, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood, and Ruth Sanderson's The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

I also observe that even very good artists can founder on picture books because you have to continually illustrate the tale; you can't just concentrate on the high points. It's hard to keep them all of a level.

Also, that there's a special art to redacting a fairy tale to fit the scope of the book. Especially when you want to redact it for modern sensibilities. Cutting it down to the level of very small children can produce interesting effects, but more liberal changes, just for the heck of it, often don't respect the grammar of fairy tales. Yes, you can plug and chug any number of motifs -- "The Water of Life" has a motif that you can recognize right out of "Snow White", when the prince is taken to the forest by a huntsman to be killed -- but introducing a new motif of your own requires wariness. (You can, of course, charge right into the fractured fairy tale, where you are playing jokes with the tropes, but that's a different genre. Also, hard to put in picture books where the kids need to learn the tropes first.)
Tags: fairy tales (retelling), genre: fractured fairy tale, reading

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