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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