I’ve used this phrase so many times in the last year and a half, I’ve decided to sit down and make a real list.
The reason for doing it now is at least partly because I’m kicking around the idea of telling stories occasionally in a 4th-6th grade classroom this fall, and I decided I wanted to start with the basics.
It’s inevitable that fewer and fewer people will be hearing these old stories, even those that are referenced continually in literary allusions. I figured I might do what I can to spread (what I consider) this basic literacy of folk and fairy tales.
For your perusing and debating pleasure (in no particular order):
The Canonical Dozen
- Sleeping beauty
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Snow White
- The Princess and the Pea
- Aladdin and his Lamp
- The Ugly Duckling
- Beauty and the Beast
- Hansel and Gretal
- Little Red Riding hood
- Puss in Boots
This was trickier than I thought, and I slowed to a stop after #6. (Meaning I had to get up and actually look at my shelves.)
To understand why I picked these it helps to look at this list from a literary standpoint, rather than what we’ve personally read/heard the most.
Every one of these 12 I have seen referenced or alluded to (in a way that was supposed to be metaphorical or enlightening) in an utterly unrelated setting (e.g. “breadcrumbs” in a variety of roles).
Without these stories, modern readers could actually be missing the point of anything from a textbook anecdote to an AP article in their local paper.
Perhaps for the next several weeks I will break from my initial goal of Tuesday Tales and review these basics, mentioning at that point my favorite version of each.