Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Move Over "Hunger Games"

"Not another fairy tale..."

A few months ago, I debated (briefly) whether Hunger Games was an appropriate book for my ten year old son. Then I remembered the fairy tales I had read him as a child. Even now I feel a little guilty.
That's some seriously scary stuff. So, if you are just starting out as a parent, I thought maybe I should warn you. 

Let's see, Beatrix Potter. Sure it's a classic, the illustrations are gorgeous, and you're fully intentioned on visiting the Lake District at some point but- beware- this series is not for the faint hearted. Examples:

1) Jemima Puddle Duck Innocent duck held prisoner by a crafty fox intent on cooking her...scary.

2) The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies  Farmer McGregor tying up the cute, adorable, sleeping flopsy bunnies in a sack so that the skins can line his wife's cloak...even scarier.

3) Tom Kitten Cute little kitty falls into the clutches of a greedy rat. The rat rolls him up in some dough with a rolling pin to enjoy some Kitten Dumpling...scariest.

Now. let's check out the Grimms Fairy Tales. Take your pick. And, unlike Beatrix Potter, you know this is some seriously scary stuff. But you just can't help yourself. You probably read this as a child. I know I did. Why deprive your child of all those witches, evil stepmothers, and catastrophic chain of events unleashed when an unsuspecting orphan child walks alone into the woods at night?

4) Snow White The witch? Need I say more? I had to cover the illustration where she's holding the poisoned apple with my hand while reading the story to not terrorize my daughter. 

5) Sleeping Beauty A witch called Maleficent who holds a grudge because she wasn't invited to the party. Seriously scary (on the plus side can be used as a lesson on why it's nice to include everybody).

6) Rapunzel  Probably the very last princess in your daughter's princess phase before she moves on to fairies, unicorns, and barbie dolls- all way less scary than a little girl getting locked up in a high tower for years by an evil witch with a high pitched laughter.

7) Hansel and Gretel  Two little children left in a forest to starve to death by their evil stepmother but then lured into a candy house owned by a witch who wants to fatten them up so she them?!

8) The Enormous Crocodile  Roald Dahl's delightful tale about a sneaky crocodile who disguises himself as a picnic table or a see saw so he can (you guessed it) eat the children who sit on him. Years of fun for the entire family (when your child wakes up with crocodile-themed nightmares).

9)  Little Red Riding Hood Where do I start? A wolf disguised as a sick grandmother, really?

10) Peter Pan Notwithstanding the double whammy: Captain Hook and a crocodile this was hands down my daughter's favorite. So, what story scared you most as a kid? Fess up. Personally,  I'm no longer scared the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz is hiding under my bed.
I just check because I want to.

(Caveat: Do not automatically discard these titles, in an ironic twist of fate, the scariest story might turn out to be your kid's favorite.)


  1. This is really funny and so true!!

    1. Thanks-I know they scared me to death as a kid!