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Are fairy tales too scary for kids?

A new survey suggests that they are! The poll, by TheBabyWebsite suggests that a
quarter of parents have ditched classics such as Snow White and Hansel and Gretl in
favour of more modern bedtime tales. Apparently they don't like the messages
(leaving poor Hansel and his sister alone in the forest is a no no, as is sending Little
Red Riding Hood on a journey alone through the woods - only to find out that granny
has been eaten by a wolf!)

A fifth of parents said the tales weren't politically correct (Cinders does too much
cleaning up, I guess, while Jack climbs up a beanstalk and steals from the giant), and
17 percent worried about them giving their children nightmares (Snow White's wicked
witch is said to be too scary). Sixty five percent of parents said that they preferred to
read their children more "light-hearted" stories at bedtime.

''Children love being read a variety of stories and it's a great shame that so many of
today's PC mums and dads are rejecting fairy tales which have stood the test of time,
entertaining children for hundreds or thousands of years,'' said Nigel Crawford from
the website.

Oh dear.

Fairy tales have been around for centuries, and with good reason. They contain the
most essential element of a great story - especially good versus evil (with good,
fortunately, always winning). Yes, they can be scary, but children love a bit of tension,
especially when it gets resolved.

"How sad!" agrees Suzanne Carnell, Editorial Director of Children's books at Pan
Macmillan. They have a whole host of fairy tales in publication, including Lift-the-Flap
Fairy Tales of The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Billy
Goats Gruff illustrated by the hugely successful Nick Sharratt.

"My take would be that fairy tales are a safe environment in which to explore a young
child's fears and that they are part of our heritage. They are also good stories, with a
strong structure which works. Every young child loves a baddie, and the baddies do
get their comeuppance."

Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo recently published his version of Hansel
and Gretl, so the market for fairy tales does definitely seem to exist. There is also an
assumption that children know these stories. Otherwise, how would brilliant books
like the Jolly Postman, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book and the fabulous Mr Wolf's
Pancakes, work?

I say hurray for fairy tales, especially when they are revised (Cinderella and Snow
White don't have to be such wimps, do they?) I'm not a huge fan of Jack and his
beanstalk, but that's a small aside. There are so many ways these stories can be
used, and so much depth to them (including the themes of wolves and lost parents).
They are also so inspiring: after all, isn't the Gruffalo a kind of modern fairy tale? And
don't let's forget, where would Disney and the Christmas Panto be without these

Times Online, January 13, 2009


To dich: ejteni, elhagyni, eldobni

Comeuppance: negdemelt sors, bntets

Laureate: koszors r/klt?

Assumption: felttelezs


1. A felmrs eredmnyei szerint mirt nem meslnek mr klasszikus mesket a

szl?k gyermekeiknek?

2. Hogyan rvel Suzanne Carnell a klasszikus trtnetek mellett?

3. Mi mutatja, hogy van mg remny a klasszikus mesk esetben?