Sunday, October 19, 2008

Your Favorite Fairytale

One of my first formal book reviews wasn't for a novel. It was for a short story; in particular, it was for my favorite fairytale. I chose an obscure one by a French author. He who had penned Cinderella had also written in a character named Riquet of the Quiff (I hope I have the name right!) into Love and Be Wise, a story about going beyond outward appearances to find the beauty and brains of every individual. I enjoyed doing it, and I vowed that I would share the experience with the world.

Pick your favorite fairytale. You can look through your children's books if you already have a family, or you can go online and pick a fairytale that you've never ever heard about. The Brothers Grimm have a rather bloody collection, so try your hand at the real Cinderella instead of going for the sanitized version.

Treat your fairytale as a true blue story. Who are the characters? What are they like? Who is good? Who is bad? Is it easy to tell? Are there areas of gray, or is all black and white in the world of fairytales? You can even choose to write review on an adaptation of a fairytale. How did the author tell the story? How was it different, and was the adaptation well written?

These are only a few questions that you can ask yourself as you review a fairytale. This is a simple exercise, but it is meant to teach you how even the simplest stories contain entire universes of meaning and symbolism that you might have missed when you first came across them.

So pick up the tale, write the review, and welcome to fairyland! Happy reading and happy writing!

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