Family bedtime reading is starting to become a little lacklustre for Princess Ella. The stories that are fully engaging Li’l Holly – Where is the Green Sheep? and Spot Goes to the Farm – are leaving Ella wanting more. So, to help with her development, we’ve begun reading a “big girl book’’ after Holly is asleep. For the moment, it’s this book:

My Treasury of Fairytales

My Treasury of Fairytales. It’s full of longer fairytale reads, which are more focused on the story and less on the images. Although, the illustrations are quite incredible. We first cottoned onto these books with the My Nursery Rhymes Book.

My Nursery Rhymes Collection

Her favourite from the fairytale book is Jack and the Beanstalk, which I’ve now read about 738,469 times. I think it has something to do with the “Fe Fi Fo Fum’’ rhyme, despite the fact it’s about grinding bones to make bread. She probably now believes that’s how you make bread, just like she believes breastfeeding mums provide us with cartons of boobie juice for our Sultana Buds.

I tend to try and push her towards the more harmless Cinderella, The Ugly Ducking and Sleeping Beauty. Although, the latter has garnered questions about whether Sleeping Beauty would die if a prince didn’t kiss her.

Then there’s Hansel and Gretel. As we were reading it the other night, an alarm bell went off in my head: “stop reading. This is going to give her nightmares’’. But for some ridiculously stupid reason, I continued. I have no idea what that reason was, by the way.

reading a book

In the car the next day, Ella piped up with: “Do you know what I’m thinking, Mum?’’. I could have answered with “why does Superman stop bullets with his chest but duck when the gun is thrown at him?’’, but I didn’t. Prompting her to continue, she said: “I was thinking how you went away and left me and I was really sad and I cried. And I was scared you weren’t going to come back.’’

Part of this story stems from taking her li’l sister away to Adelaide for a night for a bloggers brunch months earlier. But I think it was mainly prompted by Hansel and Gretel’s awful stepmother.

The clincher though came that night, when she woke at 1am crying. She was scared and didn’t want to be left alone. Five minutes later I was squished into a single bed with someone more akin to the main character out of the Princess and the Pea for all the wriggling that was going on.

We now no longer read Hansel and Gretel around here.

Are there fairytales you avoid with your children? Has your child been affected by a so-called child friendly story?

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21 Responses to When a princess loses her fairytale ending

  1. Aw Kel, poor lil one. I often make up the word in the stories. She loves “There was an old woman who swallowed a fly…” but I change the die part to “she was a silly lady” and I do this for a host of other books where she likes the pictures but not all the story. I know she would react the same as Ella did so at the moment the making up of the little bits works a treat 🙂
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  2. I don’t actually like reading fairy tales for those reasons. Miss T has been given tiny abridged pocket size fairy tale stories but I change the bits I don’t like namely dying, violent or mean bits or waiting for prince charming (yeah, I’m a bit of a party pooper that way). It was hard trying to paraphrase the wolf’s “all the better to eat you with” in Little Red Riding Hood! I know we’ll news to broach those issues eventually. Just not right now, if I can help it!
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    • Kel says:

      Sounds like a good plan, Veronica. We have a couple of the abridged versions too. Snow White (there’s some scary bits in that though) and Cinderella. Cinderella is a fave – for all of us!
      It makes you wonder why the stories were written like they were. Were they meant to be for adults? Bizarre.

  3. Oh no!! Some of them are awful!!!! I mean the kids eventually murder her by throwing her in the fire!
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  4. Di-licious says:

    Olive’s still not interested in having these stories read to her but I did make up a story for her in the car (at her insistence) while we were driving to Ikea. Part of it was losing Princess Olive and then finding her in the kids bedroom section in a comfy bed fast asleep. She howled in the car and it took lots of cuddles and the promise of Princess Cake before the tears subsided. Oops.
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    • Kel says:

      Oh dear, Di! Whoever thought Ikea could strike fear into a child… usually it’s the husbands. LOL!
      Poor Olive. I hope she got over it pretty quickly. Ella seems to have moved on from Hansel and Gretel pretty quickly. Thank goodness! 🙂

  5. Missy Boo says:

    Poor Ella. Is she ready for some Enid Blyton? We avoided the fairytales for a bit with some good old Enid. The only things we had to discuss were names like Fanny and Dick! Plus we had to find out what tinder boxes and a couple of old fashioned pieces of furniture were.
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    • Kel says:

      What a great idea. I was obsessed with Enid Blyton as a kid. I think I might even have a couple of books still in boxes downstairs. I must hunt them out. Thanks so much for the suggestion. That’s brilliant! 🙂

  6. Lisa Wood says:

    Oh No! Poor Ella – we havent had Fairytale stories that affect our Boys. We have more Pirate Books that I am not keen on reading to our boys….but they love them so much! Our youngest loves books that our older ones love – I prefer to read books that are more age suitable but boys will be boys.
    Done the bed sharing over this weekend with our six year old – gosh can they move when they are asleep!!
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    • Kel says:

      Oh, bed sharing is never fun, Lisa!
      One thing about having girls is not having to endure pirate books! LOL! Peter Pan is about as pirate-y as we get! 😉
      Mind you, The Bloke in the Shed would be in his element.

  7. oh poor princess Ella! Some of those fairytales are gruesome.. I havent had any nightmares but I usually change a few things mid story..
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  8. Tat says:

    Some fairy tales are scary. I like going to the local puppet show, they always change the tales to make them more kid-friendly. The wolf from The Little Red Riding Hood is taken to the Zoo before he manages to eat anyone and the Little Mermaid marries the prince.
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  9. Definitely. I was talking to a friend about this just the other day. I have one of the original Red Riding Hood’s where the wood chopper chops open the wolf, and then granny and red riding hood just steps out of the wolf and they all sit down and have a meal together. And some of the Enid Blyton ones. (Dame Slap for one!) Shudder …

    • Kel says:

      Oh my goodness, what an ending!
      Yes, Mr Pink-Whistle is introducing Ella to some interesting concepts. Think maybe I’d be better off writing my own stories! 😉

  10. We have to be really careful with fairy tales, ever since Immy got scared by the Big Bad Wolf in the Three Little Pigs – everytime we walked down the street she would ask me which house the BBW lived in 🙁

    We read a chapter each night of one of Enid Blyton’s Wishing Chair or Faraway Tree series (I found classic illustrated versions on eBay) and Immy loves them 🙂
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