Fairy tales are a fond memory of my childhood and something I loved sharing with my children, but these stories may go deeper than the simple text of the tales. Not too long ago I was astounded to learn that aside from their universal appeal, some fairy tales may be founded in fact. Wonder 912: Can Fairy Tales Be True? taps into information from this article and is a great springboard for discussing the factual background and inspiration of many stories, not just of fairy tales.
The many versions of Cinderella made me wonder if the plight of a stepdaughter being mistreated by her stepmother was common enough that it rang true in many cultures—there are tales with similar situations and outcomes that appeared in French (Perrault’s Cinderilla), German (Grimm’s Cinderella), English (Tatercoats), Vietnamese (In the Land of Small Dragon), Chinese (Beauty and Pock Face), and Native American (Little Burnt Face) cultures.
Along with Wonder 912, explore these Wonders – Wonder 184: Who Was Hans Christian Andersen? and Wonder 21: What Fairy Tale Ending Would You Change? – to learn more with your child about fairy tales. Visit the library or search online together for various versions to some of the more popular fairy tales to enjoy, analyze details, and compare.