Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grimm Is Truly Grim

Wild Thing's literature in Tapestry of Grace has been Grimms' fairy tales.  My knowledge of fairy tales consists largely of Little Golden Books and Disney versions.  This has been my first exposure to the originals which were collected by the Brothers Grimm in the early 19th century.  They are much darker than the sanitized versions of popular, cartoonish  story books.
The versions that TOG recommends are beautifully illustrated and true to the originals.  There are some disturbing elements though.  That's why you must ALWAYS preview reading material.  Did you know that Rapunzel was expecting twins when the witch threw her out of the tower?   That caught me off guard.  I ended up slightly editing the story.  Hansel and Gretel contained gruesome descriptions of how the old hag intends to butcher and boil the children.   I had to do a bit of editing here, too.  I wasn't able to get the suggested book for Rumpelstiltskin from the library, so I used to find an audio version.  Rumpelstiltskin literally tears himself in two with rage.

And here is where the trouble started.  After we listened to one story, the kids wanted another and another.  We listened to Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel.  Everything would have been okay if we had stopped with these, but curiosity got the best of us, and we listened to The Red Shoes.  Oh my!  The poor girl asked someone to cut off her feet to be rid of the endlessly dancing shoes.

The moral of this story is always preview.  Always.  We have handled these dark stories by discussing how life was harder when the stories were written and trying to discover a lesson to learn.  I'm glad that TOG puts cautions for parents into the weekly preview, but there is no substitute for parental vigilance.

1 comment:

  1. I have avoided Brother's Grim for that very reason. My adopted children experienced enough pain and fear in their early life. You did a good job of making it through.