Tales of the Fairies Reimagined

For many children, some versions of popular fairy tales can be frightening! An evil witch who bakes children in her oven? Not a great story to lead into bedtime. In fact, folktales collected by the Brothers Grimm were often ghastly and not even meant for kids! And even some of the stories written by Hans Christian Andersen contained very dark and tragic themes.

When I was recently tasked with retelling a collection of fairy tales in rhyme, I knew right away that I wanted my versions to be positive, fun, and uplifting. Jack‘s giant doesn’t have to die, Pinocchio can use his nose to save Geppetto, and Goldi would decide to leave the Bears’ home safely of her own volition. Red‘s grandmother remains safe, of course, while the girl ponders how the wolf might react if her hood were sewn in different colors.

All in all, this was such a fun and challenging project. I hope you’ll take a peek at my 4 rhyming stories published right here at Empowered Parents!

70 thoughts on “Tales of the Fairies Reimagined

  1. I certainly enjoyed your stories, even though I still have some affection for the originals. They were one way my friends and I learned to deal with fears — not to mention learning how to create a bit of fear in our tent mates when told our own made-up stories at camp!

    Beyond that, those old fairy tales were our first hint of a world where everything wasn’t sweet and nice. Even better, they gave us a way to talk about analogous experiences in our own life. In 10th grade biology class, some of us dealt with a particularly cold and distant teacher by imagining her as a witch who spent her time burning up students with her bunsen burner! Of course she didn’t, and we knew she didn’t, but that childhood story about the cookie-baking witch lingered, and helped us cope.

    Of course, most parents will know their own child and choose accordingly. Even better, they’ll read whichever stories they choose with their children. Giving a child a book is good, but sharing a book with a child is better!

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  2. When I was seven I was confined to bed after an accident on my bike. Next door neighbour lent me her old copy ( black and white drawings, old fashioned cover ) of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I read all of them. Well done with the positive poems.

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  3. Congratulations!! Your versions are wonderful!!

    The old Grimm tales didn’t bother me at all as a kid. I lived with my grandmother but had “visits to hell” as I called the monthly weekend staying with my biological mother and father who were extremely religous- the hell fire damnation kinds of Southern Baptists. So the threatening bible stories and morality tales from that church were far far more scary to me than the Grimm fairy tales.

    Nowadays I prefer more gentle tales and try to tell them myself. So I applaud you wholeheartedly!! Bravo!!

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    1. Thanks! I’m so pleased that you like them, Sue! Yes, the stories you write and paint are definitely gentle and lovely. That’s an interesting and thought-provoking comparison you make to stories even scarier than Grimms from childhood. Yikes!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They are lovely, Becky:)). I particularly enjoyed your version of Little Red Riding Hood. And yes… someone presented me with an illustration version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales as a small child which gave me nightmares for years.

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  5. I think your take is wonderful! We are in the year 2021!

    However, in the times these stories were written, life was not so great. It was harsh.
    “Ring around the rosie
    Pocket full of posie
    Husha husha
    We all fall down”
    I played that as a kid. Never knew what it meant.
    Now I do. It was written during the Black Plague. Fall down meant to die.

    I like that you are updating meaning for today’s reality.

    Still, let us not lose historic content.
    I think one of the reasons Covid has gotten so far as it has, is because of lessons from the past that we have not learned, or have conveniently forgotten.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate that, Resa! Yes, I never knew what “Ring around the Rosie” meant when I was a child, either. I agree that we certainly shouldn’t ignore history and that we DO need to learn from it! As adults, we can decide when the children in our care are ready for some of those more difficult truths. Of course, we have some adults these days who aren’t facing the truth very well…


    1. Wow, I really appreciate that, Tracy! You’re so right that it’s not easy but carries a very strong sense of accomplishment. My editing work in children’s literature these past 18 months has helped to strengthen my skills. It’s not the rhyme that’s so tricky but the meter/beat! Quite the challenge. I wrote Goldi first and gained the confidence to work on the others:) Thanks, again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, to the meter and beat! I know that’s the hardest piece of an already (in my mind) difficult task. But you prevailed and created amazing work. (It makes me happy knowing I connected most with your first effort. Hooray for Goldi and Becky!)

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  6. Ahhhhh I am looking at my copy of Grimms Fairy Tales as I type, Becky…I loved them as a child although I guess I was suitable scared in places but knew it was a tale…In turn, I read them to my children and embellished them with my actions..haha as I do little Lils…none of whom showed any fear or anxiety…by the same token, I understand some children may and do love your versions…Well written, Becky 🙂 x

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  7. I agree with your take on the Brothers Grimm—way too scary and inappropriate for kids. The pictures that went along with some of those stories are still embedded in my mind. Congratulations on softening them up a bit.

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  8. I enjoyed your retelling of these classic children’s stories–although, I have to tell you that when I was a wee one, I insisted on the original Grimms’ Fairy Tales, with all of the gory details included.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m very pleased that you liked them, Liz! Yes, opinions on the early versions are mixed, and some really liked them as kids:) I remember feeling more uncomfortable than scared, such as wondering, “Okay, will someone be eaten by the wolf in this story or just shut in the closet?” Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! Your stories and rhymes are amazing! I love the kind spin on Pinocchio and–who knew that one small change could make such a huge difference in the Little Red Riding Hood story? Very cool!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Becky, these are soooo cute!!! I loved the ending you gave to Jack and the Beanstalk!

    I actually just started reading a bilingual (English/Ukrainian) book of fairy tales for kids, and they remind me of your tales (although I think yours are more positive and upbeat – I read Hansel and Gretel the other night, and the witch still died).

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Times have changed.
    Those tales were written in times of plagues, wars and human abuses (more than we endure today).
    Life was grim(m).
    I think they were lessons taught.
    It’s good to have modern updates.

    Liked by 2 people

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