1. What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
Hee hee...I bet you guys can't guess this one. ;) Beauty and the Beast, of course! I love it for it's message of looking beyond appearances and not judging a book by its cover. Another of my favorites is "King Hawksbeak", also known as "The Beggar-Man's Bride", a story that is similar to "The Taming of the Shrew" and most likely not a story that would be loved by feminists. ;) I really appreciate the growth that the Princess experiences in the tale, even though it is through her own humiliation that she has to learn how haughty she was before. I also like "Furball" (she just happens to be the character on the top right of my "Fairy Tale Faces" collage above). :) No real specific reason on this one except I just enjoy it and it appeals to me. As a girl I loved pretty much any fairy tale involving a princess or romance. ;)
2. List your 4 favorite fairy tale heroes or heroines and why you like them.
Why did I come up with this question? It's too hard to decide! ;) I suppose I'd have to say Beauty from "Beauty and the Beast" for her bravery and her love for her father...and honestly, I'm running out of ideas and I just want to get this published, so I'm going to stick with that. (Hey, I had lots of extras on some of the other questions...and besides, I said it was okay to cheat!) ;)
3. Who in your opinion is the most threatening fairy tale villain?
I'd say it's a tie between Snow White's evil stepmother the Queen and the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty who casts the spell on her. Both of them are so vengeful and creepy!!
4. If applicable, share something about a favorite fairy tale book you had as a child. What made it so special?
We had a set of books that had all sorts of stories in them, including many fairy tales. I think it was called the "Junior Classics", or something like that. I used to read those over and over again. I loved the illustrations and the fact that there were so many stories to choose from.
As an adult, I found a really fun picture book of fairy tales that had a lot of old-fashioned illustrations. It is now one of my oldest daughter's favorite books.
5. In your opinion, what makes a good fairy tale?
I love fairy tales that tell of courage, integrity, loyalty, and perseverance, all qualities that we are slowly backing away from as a society. I also love fairy tales that teach a lesson or have something I can come away with and think about in my own life. Because most fairy tales are morality tales, there are usually truths in them that can have spiritual applications, which I love. There's something about a story that can drive a truth home more than just having someone say it, at least for me.
However, many fairy tales have very one-dimensional characters. The pure, lovely heroine. The handsome, brave prince. The evil villain. Some of my favorite fairy tale adaptations are those that turn these stilted, cliched characters into well-rounded, fully dimensional characters. The flawed hero or heroine, who in spite of their faults, chooses to do what is right when it is vital to the story (or perhaps makes a wrong decision at a crucial moment and then has to set things right). Then there's the sympathetic villain. Sometimes understanding how they got to where they are helps us understand them. There is true evil in this world, and all of us are capable of it. The more we give into our naturally evil bent, the more it poisons our hearts and affects our actions. However, according to the Bible, Christ died for the sins of EVERYONE. No one is without the potential for redemption. I think that when an author is able to get these truths across in their story (either intentionally or unintentionally), it gives the story a depth, humanity, and relatability that some of the basic fairy tales are lacking. (Besides, I spent way to many years trying to be as "perfect" as some of the princesses. Let me tell ya, it's just not possible for mere mortals.) ;)
6. Who is your favorite fairy tale illustrator?
This one's another toughie. I'd have to say that the two at the top of the list are K.Y. Craft and Jan Brett. [Side Note: after reading Jen's post at Dolls and Nachos, I was reminded of my love for Mercer Mayer's version of "Beauty and the Beast"...and apparently he's done other fairy tales, too! Then, while I was researching some of his stuff, I reconnected with one of my other favorite fairy tale illustrators, Trina Schart Hyman. Both have a beautiful, other-worldly quality to their illustrations.]
7. What is your favorite re-telling of a classic fairy tale and why?
Okay, I'm totally cheating on this one and doing several. ;) First off, the obvious ones: Disney's versions of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Rapunzel" are amazing. But there are so many others I love! Here are just a few:
-"The Fairy's Return and other Stories" by Gail Carson Levine
This collection of short stories, written by the same author who wrote "Ella Enchanted" (which was way better than its movie adaptation, by the way!), is always enjoyable. I love it because of the way it turns the fairy tales we know and love on their ear in a loving but humorous way. She brings up questions about the original fairy tales that make you think, "Oh yeah, maybe it would happen that way!" Included in the book are her adaptations of "Toads and Diamonds" ("The Fairy's Mistake") and "Sleeping Beauty" ("Sonora and the Long Sleep"), among others.
-"Beauty" by Robin McKinley
This is one of my all-time favorite adaptations of Beauty and the Beast. I love everything about it. I discovered it in college while taking a Children's Literature course, and have had a copy ever since. :)
-"Hans My Hedgehog" from Jim Henson's "The Storyteller" series.
This was an old TV series from I believe the 80s or 90s, featuring Jim Henson's creations. I didn't care for all of the tales, but I found "Hans My Hedgehog" very interesting. It incorporated elements from "Beauty and the Beast", "East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon", "Noble-Hearted Kate", and even the story of Jephthah's vow from the Bible (found in Judges chapter 11). It was also very interesting to see the beast as a giant, cranky hedgehog. ;)
-"Fanny's Dream" by Caralyn Buehner
This is a light-hearted children's book that is rather a spoof of "Cinderella". Fanny is a sweet but plain farm girl who dreams of meeting her fairy godmother and marrying a prince. One night, while waiting for her fairy godmother, she is visited by Heber Jensen, a sweet but plain farm boy who wants to marry her. What does Fanny decide to do with her life? You'll have to read the book to find out! ;)
-"Skin Deep"-Episode 12 from "Once Upon a Time"
Duh, you guys already know this, but I had to include it. Aside from the parts that didn't deal with Rumpelstiltskin and Belle's characters, I really enjoyed this retelling of Beauty and the Beast for its creativity and unique twist.
There are a lot more, but I really shouldn't fill up the whole post with my answers to this one question. ;)
8. Which fairy tale character is the most like you?
Hmm...depends on the day. I'd say probably Disney's Belle on good days and Disney's Mother Gothel on bad days. ;) As far as generic fairy tales, it's hard to say because they're so one dimensional and perfect (sorry guys, I didn't realize how hard this question was until I tried to answer it myself!). ;)
9. If you could choose to be any fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
Probably Beauty or Cinderella. Beauty because I love her story so much...although I don't know that I could have been brave enough to break the spell. Cinderella because I would love to have the whole "Fairy Godmother Treatment". ;) I wouldn't enjoy the emotional abuse and the workload she had in the other parts of the story, though. :(
10. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
a. that a fairy godmother would come along, give you a dazzling outfit and shoes, and whisk you away to a royal ball.
b. that you could fly
c. that you would discover an enchanted world outside of our own
d. that you would be able to go on a grand adventure
Definitely b. I've always wanted to fly. I've even dreamed about it! Of course, c would be a close second. As a girl, I always hoped that maybe one day I'd find a wardrobe like Lucy's that would lead me to Narnia. ;)
11. If you could find out anything about your favorite fairy tale character outside of the pages of his/her story, what would you want to know?
For pretty much any character, I'd want to know what happened after the story was over.
12. Share a picture of one of your dolls dressed as a fairy tale character. :)
Coming soon...I hope! :} But hey, it is a bonus question, after all. ;)
I hope all of you are having as much fun answering these questions as I just did. :) If you'd like to join yourself, you can see the original post HERE. Spread the word...tell your friends. I'd love to have a lot of participants. :)