Albert Einstein observed, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be geniuses, read them more fairy tales. When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking."
Some parents worry that fairytales will scare their children, or even provide "sexist" role models. However, I have found (using traditional not Disney-fied versions) that they provide rich food for the mind and allow discussions about feelings to be expressed. Fariy tales speak to a place deep within us, or from the "subconscious" as Jung would say. Unlike movies or television they allow the imagination to do it's own work, teaching us about ourselves and the world we create around us.
In is book The Power of Stories Horst Kornberger, a writer, artist and Steiner-Waldorf teacher explores the power of particular stories such as Odysseus, Parsifal, Oedipus, Bible stories and fairy tales, and explains how to apply that power to help a child develop, or to heal and transform a child with difficulties. He also includes ideas on how to create new stories to help children with particular needs, and shows storytelling to be a universal gift that we can use to benefit those around us. This is a thoughful and inspiring book for teachers and parents wishing to take a deeper look at the purpose of the fairytale.
What was your favourite fairytale as a child? Mine was Goldilocks and the Three Bears!
I am reliving my childhood at the moment after discovering the most beautiful version of this treasured book by Gerard Muller, which is so much like the one I had as a child - it's just delightful! The old worldly illustrations include lots of wonderful extra detail for children to discover in the theme of big, medium and little: big, medium, and little versions of birds, squirrels, mice, plates, umbrellas, slippers. You discover something new each time you open the pages....just beautiful.