Posts Tagged ‘fairy tales’


Something of a theme is emerging over here at ‘5 Minutes Peace’ – If any of you know me well, then you know I love folk and fairy tales. If you do too, then you must add this to your collection…Alan Garner’s ‘Collected Folk Tales.’

Bound in beautiful purple and gold hardback, this edition features eighteen previously unpublished stories and poems by the master magical storyteller. Only one other author can get away with naming stories like ‘Maggoty’s Wood’ and Gobbleknoll’ and that’s Roald Dahl.

I think every child should have at least one collection of folk and fairy tales. They open up the imagination, the idea that the impossible is not such and create a new world for the reader. There’s also the odd moral thrown in for good measure! Not only that, but there’s a great deal of British mythology alluded to in the stories and that really is a treat and apparently, many of the physical descriptions and locations are actual locations in the UK. Often with fairy tales we forget that a lot of them originated from different countries; China first came up with Cinderella many many centuries ago!  It is quite clear that Garner wrote what he knew about and he knew how to make that appeal to everyone- a talented, rare breed of a writer. This really is a beautiful collection of stories. They range from animal stories to tales of love and loss and the underdog winning the day. I truly cannot imagine anything more satisfying than hunkering down in a massive chair (a bed will also suffice) and losing myself in these wondrous tales. Bliss.

So buy this for yourself, buy this for Christmas or buy this for any child who has ever gone off into the garden in search of their own magical adventure!


Alan Garner




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Yesterday a customer at work came up to the till and showed me an essay title she has been given at university and asked if we knew any books that could help on this. The essay asked (using two fairytales for example) to analyse two critics’ opinions of fairytales. Of course it was pure fate that she happened to be served by me as I did my dissertation on fairytales- the Grimm’s in particular and loved every second of it.

I’m now on a mission to find some critics for her so that we can order the books for her. I just love re-visiting my dissertation, so interesting to go back and read it in hindsight, without the stress of deadlines looming.

I hope this lady enjoys writing about fairytales as much as I did.

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We all know how fascinated I am about fairy tales (and for those who don’t know, I focused my dissertation on them looking at the portrayal of the maturation process of girls) so any re-telling of a popular tale; of which there are many, will always grab my attention.

‘Letters from Rapunzel’ by Sara Lewis Holmes was published a few years ago now, but I have only just discovered it after falling onto her wonderful blog site ‘Read, Write, Believe’ which can be found here: http://saralewisholmes.blogspot.com/ 

Sara writes to be part of the ‘eternal conversation’ which I find a beautiful reason, and really seems to have a passion for what she writes about and the causes she is involved in. From a brief visit to her blog and personal website I can tell she very much recognises the importance of putting a child with book.

So back to the fairy tale in hand. What’s refreshing about this Rapunzel tale is its modern twist finding that ‘happily ever after’ just means the story hasn’t finished yet. Rather than dealing with Rapunzel directly, we follow Cadence who feels strong empathy with Rapunzel as she feels trapped in a bad place. This story relies heavily on the readers’ perseverence as Cadence has to struggle with her father’s illness and her mother’s depression. Even as the possibility of that ‘happily-ever’after’ scenario fades, the spirit of Cadence keeps hope alive and the reader is rewarded.

A wonderful read as Sara Lewis Holmes has demonstrated her ability to use a classic fairy tale and use it within an analogy that will resonate with modern readers. This is a gift sometimes lost on the Disney age.

ISBN: 9780060780739

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Whilst I’m on the subject of short fairy stories, may you take the time to visit this lovely gem of a blog. I don’t know the creator of this blog but they took the time to refer to my blog and I of course checked theirs out and I’m glad I did. It’s right up my street.

If you don’t fancy delving into a lengthy Christmas Carol then read the individual stories and you wont be disappointed


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