Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Scary fairy tales

The Telegraph reports that many British parents feel their young children need to be protected from fairy tales:
Parents have stopped reading traditional fairytales to their children because they are too scary and not politically correct, according to research.

Favourites such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Rapunzel are being dropped by some families who fear children are being emotionally damaged.

A third of parents refused to read Little Red Riding Hood because she walks through woods alone and finds her grandmother eaten by a wolf.

One in 10 said Snow White should be re-named because "the dwarf reference is not PC".

Rapunzel was considered "too dark" and Cinderella has been dumped amid fears she is treated like a slave and forced to do all the housework. ....

Top bedtime stories of 2008:
  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle (1969)
  2. Mr Men, Roger Hargreaves (1971)
  3. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson (1999)
  4. Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne (1926)
  5. Aliens Love Underpants, Claire Freedman & Ben Cort (2007)
  6. Thomas and Friends from The Railway Series, Rev. W. Awdry (1945)
  7. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1908)
  8. What a Noisy Pinky Ponk!, Andrew Davenport (2008)
  9. Charlie and Lola, Lauren Child (2001)
  10. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Robert Southey (1837)
Top 10 fairy tales we no longer read:
  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  2. Hansel and Gretel
  3. Cinderella
  4. Little Red Riding Hood
  5. The Gingerbread Man
  6. Jack and the Beanstalk
  7. Sleeping Beauty
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  10. The Emperor's New Clothes
There is nothing wrong with what these parents are reading to their children, but it is very sad that they are depriving them of the others. The lessons most of them convey are pretty good — and very few, if any, of those of us who grew up with them were traumatized by the experience.

Thanks to Betsy Newmark for the reference.

Traditional fairytales 'not PC enough' for parents - Telegraph


  1. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Please can you tell me which book you got the illustration for red riding hood? I had this book as a child and can't seem to find a copy... Thanks

  2. Sorry, I can't. I believe I found it through Google online.


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