February 26th is National Fairy Tale Day!

I love fairy tales. My husband loves fairy tales (thanks to him we own an almost complete set of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library!). And of course, my kids love fairy tales. Who doesn’t?

Old photos of Snow White and one of her dwarfs—Hungry, maybe?

While searching for ideas for this month’s Picture Book Marathon, I’ve been reading more fairy tales and folktales than I normally do. And I’ve been loving every minute of it!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the February 26th is National Fairy Tale Day! I can’t find an official source for that, but other people seem to celebrate it, so why not? I’ll take any excuse to share some of my newly discovered favorites with the kids at bedtime tonight, or maybe I’ll even read them some of the retellings I’ve written this month. 🙂

Looking for more fairy tale facts or fun? Here are some resources I’ve found:

  • SurLaLune is THE place to start researching fairy tales on the web. It features 49 annotated fairy tales, including their histories, similar tales across cultures, modern interpretations and over 1,500 illustrations. Wow!
  • Here’s a great old post written by Hannah Boyd about Why Fairy Tales Matter.

“[Fairy tales] work through so many personal and cultural anxieties, yet they do it in a safe, ‘once upon a time’ way,” says Maria Tatar, a professor at Harvard College who writes about, and teaches classes on, fairy tales. “Fairy tales have a real role in liberating the imagination of children. No matter how violent they are, the protagonist always survives.”

I’d rather just read and enjoy (and write!) them, though. Two of my favorites have always been The Ugly Duckling and Puss in Boots. I guess I’ve always been a sucker for a good underdog story.

What are your favorites, and why?


p.s. February is also National Love Your Library Month. Why not head to your local library and pick up some fairy tales to enjoy with someone special tonight?

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