With three 4-year-olds from other households present I’ve been feeling touchy about what to do for our read-aloud.
“What about Snow White?” asked one of the girls, holding up the story illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
Now, I happen to think this is a very smart book. It allows the girl to be 7 when she’s driven away, but shows her growing old enough to marry by the time the prince finds her. Very clever illustrations. But the story is true to the Grimm original, with the asking for the heart to eat, and dancing to death in hot iron shoes.
I read around those parts in the beginning, and actually haven’t read it for some time now, since Natasha is able to read along with me.
“I think it might be too scary for some of the younger kids,” I said dismissively.
“But it has a good ending!” Melody protested.
At the party we read “Good Enough to Eat” and still got a bunch of big eyes.
When I gathered all the girls to listen, one 6-year-old looked at me like I was nuts. “Why are we reading a story?” she asked, her voice dripping with disdain.
With what I still hope was a mixture of firmness and cheerfulness (the girl’s mother was present) I answered, “Because the birthday girl wanted one, and her mama’s a storyteller.”