What collections of fairy tales did you grow up with?

I remember first reading the “Red Book of Children’s stories” and “The Yellow Book of Fairy Tales” Published by the Whitman Company.

My mom did not like Grimm’s collection, or really those collections either (they were hers): she had a bad experience as a child reading Rumpelstiltskin. Childcraft had an international collection of folktales masquerading as children’s stories, so I also read that.

In the end, I think I read a lot of international folk tales - some Grimm, some Aesop, and just some from other collectors.

Some of these were pretty awful endings in the older books. Goldilocks was eaten by the three bears, the murderous servant in the three oranges had to wear red hot iron shoes and she danced to death, Cinderella’s stepmother was boiled to death (and her stepsisters cut off their toes/heels to fit in the shoes), Rumpelstiltskin tore himself in two (with illustration!) and there was a story about a man who traded his heart for a stone (for wealth) and he killed his mother because he did not care.

Does anyone else have childhood trauma from a fairy tale, or is that just me? (And don’t get me started on the “uplifting” ending of the little mermaid).

My family had the opinion that if a child could read a book it was a children’s book, even if it had adult stuff in it. (just turn the page until it stops, sigh, i was into murder mysteries until i was like 15) So in elemetary i was reading Dean Kootz and Michael Critchen, and a few others.

But in preschool My grandmother was very very big on Aesop’s fables. I think it was to try to teach me to question everything. But to understand the why from all sides.

Were the grapes really sour? Why did the fox give up, what could he have done differntly, had you walked up what would you do?

Did the heron really deserve to die just because he let some (was it geese? theiving birds) eat around him? Why would your “friends” beliefs say something about who you are? Was the heron even telling the truth?

The one with the guy who made one thing warm and the other cold, i remember being a bit confused about, but she turned it around, this person says something nice in peoples faces, but mean behind thier back, can you trust them? … why did she never connect that story to my step mom now that I think of it?

later when my step dad married said step mom, she had a book of DISNEY fairytales, from before the 70s, i have asked her for more info on the book. I use to read it before school even as a teen because we kept it in the living room on a shelf and i could easily read it and put it back.

I gifted my daughter my copy of Aesop’s fables when she was pregnant.

i think its interesting, Grimm’s were just a collection of stories people like to tell on long cold winter nights when there was nothing else better to do. They weren’t uplifting happy ending stories, that isn’t the stuff our past liked. They wanted scary stuff.

It’s kinda like in monster ink and what’s that movie called with jack frost, the guardian? The world use to thrive on fear, that was our driving force.

And then there was a shift, and now we try to thrive on happiness.

And i’m not against that, I’m really not. but i believe we should also pay homage to the past. Yeah, you can absolutely say that the orignal ending of the little mermaid was “uplifting” facepalm but raven feathers, unless you are ready for a shock, dont google it.

there seems to be a lot of things i’ve read in the last decade that has a message somewhere along the lines of “But how will those who come after remember us”

lets look at a practical guide, our girl is given a children’s fairy tale book that had stories from when merlin was alive. I bet that book isn’t still in cycle, cause i have yet to hear her read it and recognize a story from it. She’s clearly heard some before, he’s got a reputation after all…

i’m gonna get horribly off topic if i keep try to explain

Dunno if those Grimm collected stories were intended to be scary, or whether they were stories from a pre-christian pantheon that we’ve forgotten. That is a theory for King Arthur; old paganism dressed up to hide it from the Church. In Grimm, there’s quite a bit of warnings about making deals with “old men” and “witches”; but Grimm had many cases of magic used by the protagonist and it turning out fine for them.

Anderson was a real piece of work to write some of the stories he did; innocence was the priority, and only innocent children are good (e.g. the Snow Queen). Obviously curious and credulous children must be compromised in some way (e.g. The Little Mermaid). The Little Mermaid has a lot of problems: for example she can’t become human if she doesn’t marry the prince; love isn’t enough (and BTW he does love her but its his duty to marry someone else). Without marriage, she’s not able to become human. What is that moral for little girls?

And, you gotta think F. Baum was onto the odd approach to morality in some of the fairy stories. His purported claim in the original foreword to the Wizard of Oz is, to me, the most reverse psychology ever:

Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder-tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.

Having this thought in mind, the story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written solely to pleasure children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heart-aches and nightmares are left out.

Sure Frank. Keeping the wonderment. That’s what you were doing when you wrote this bit of dialog between the porcelain princess and Dorothy:

“if I run I may fall down and break myself.”
“But couldn’t you be mended?” asked [Dorothy].
“Oh, yes; but one is never so pretty after being mended, you know,” replied the princess.

If that isn’t trying to say something moral about how we treat people, (and what we think “pretty” means) I don’t know what is. After the trio destroy a porcelain church (the lion upset it) while leaving, Baum finished this chapter with a bit of wisdom from the scarecrow:

“I am thankful I am made of straw and cannot be easily damaged. There are worse things in the world than being a Scarecrow."

What counts as a fairy tale?

I remember a lot of the usual children’s books. Dr Seuss and the like. Is Where the Wild Things Are a fairy tale? (We were shocked when my mother died to find that we had grown up with a first edition that was now worth money.)

My sisters would make up stories all the time. That doesn’t count, does it? They had magic. They had family I wouldn’t see again for years. They drew on sources as diverse as Native American tradition and Finnish mythology.

We grew up with music. Lots of Gilbert & Sullivan. A book of British folk songs. I learned what a Selkie was by singing about one. The International Book of Christmas Carols. I know a lot of folklore around Christmas from that. How much of this counts?

We had a ton of classics. Alice in Wonderland. Treasure Island. Ivanhoe. And so on. Various versions of King Arthur. By grade 4 or 5 I’d already discovered that Greek and Roman mythology were boring. I loved Norse mythology. I loved Lord of the Rings. By grade 8 I’d read every sci-fi and fantasy book my local library had, then went to the main library to get more. Is The Last Unicorn a fairy tale?

I must have run across traditional fairy tales somewhere. I know the basic stories. But I have no memory of any particular book with them in it. Does it count if I read it somewhere and don’t know where?

In some sense, I didn’t grow up with fairy tales. In another sense, I grew up surrounded by an amazingly right tapestry of them.

Tolkein’s The Hobbit is the earliest book I remember reading, and fantasy is a cousin to fairy tales. I read a couple of {colour} fairy books early on, brown for sure and I don’t remember which the other one or ones were. I couldn’t tell you anything about the content though. The earliest real mythology which I remember reading was a collection of Finnish stories (in English translation), and those I do remember bits of.

I’m not sure if The Pilgrim’s Progress counts; is a Christian magical story a fairy story or not? That’s one more book I read early.

I remember when I was little that a book appeared in our house filled with French Folk Tales (translated into English). This is odd because we live in the US, and have no French connections (that I know of). The stories were entertaining anyway, and I think a few were just as traumatic as any Grimm fairytale (although I have done my best to block those parts from my memory).

The only part I really remember today is of one story where the MC tricks a giant? by squeezing a piece of cheese that looks like a rock, to show he is strong enough to squeeze milk/water/blood from a stone.

I know that one as Jack the Giant Killer. I love that one. He’s a tailor who killed five with one one blow! (It was flies he smacked with a ruler). Misunderstood bragging gets him sent after some giants. The cheese trick is very memorable; he makes the giant think he squeezed water from a stone.


The giant is quite memorable in the English version.

Fee, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman!
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!

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I know that quote from Jack and the Beanstalk.

The story I read was a mashup of “The Brave Little Tailor” (which has some, but not all the elements) and “Jack the Giantkiller” (apparently a Welsh story set in the time of Arthur - the version I read had the pit trap in it), and seemingly something else, because neither of those stories appear to have the trick with the cheese. It was more similar to this story, called “Seven at One Blow”: Seven At One Blow - Brothers Grimm Tales | Bedtime Stories