Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

Feb 26, 2013 by

I’m in love with fairy tales, but who isn’t? We need happy endings in our lives, we need to dream at least a little. But why are fairy tale retellings so popular? I think it’s because we never really grew out of them but sometimes we feel childish watching Disney movies all the time so we enjoy them in more grownup ways with darker, less black-and-white settings but without giving up the happy endings. Plus retellings are both familiar and new so it’s like reading a good book and playing spot the differences at the same time.

So to celebrate retellings and Tell a Fairy Tale Day I’m going to talk about my favorite fairy tales and favorite retellings, one for each fairy tale, except for Little Red Riding Hood since I already did a post on that which you can find here.


This is one of my favorites for retellings because the elements that make it Cinderella are clear enough to make it obvious what story it is and at the same time not tied to a specific time or culture; it can just as easily be put in medieval France, modern L.A. or futuristic Beijing.

And the message is something that speaks to us all. I think all of us sometimes feel like the small person lying in the cinders while the people around us get what they want. But this story tells us that we don’t have to comply to bullies or settle for cinders when we want to go to the dance.


Part of what I love about Cinder by Marissa Meyer is that it took me completely by surprise; Cinderella as a cyborg in a Dystopian China? What? I think I read it mostly out of curiosity, but I was enthralled from the first chapter. The story had so many twists and turns I never wanted to set it down; I loved learning about the world Marissa created; and I can’t tell you how much I love Cinder, Prince Kai and Iko.

Runners up:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ever After

Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey

Beauty and the Beast:

The message of this story is that it’s what’s inside that counts, not appearances. A very important message these days cause it seems everyone’s too caught up in looks.

Also most versions we get to see the beast slowly change from being the kind of person that got him cursed into a better person; and we see Beauty go from not wanting to be there and possibly hating the beast to falling in love with him. And who doesn’t love watching characters develop?


Beastly by Alex Flynn also took me by surprise, I didn’t see how Beauty and the Beast could fit in a modern world; well I do now! Alex somehow made an immortal witch and people getting transformed not seem out of place. It’s told from the beast’s point of view which is also different and cool. And in between each part there’s fun online chats of him and his support group. This story is everything I said in the paragraph above the picture, but it’s not just a love story it’s also a story of Lindy and Adrian finding something neither one has ever had, a real friend.

Runners up:

Beauty by Robin Mckinley (Beauty and Beastly, lol)

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Sleeping Beauty:

Maybe what draws us to this tale is true love prevailing over the most impossible of odds; think about it, a girl has to wait years for her prince to show up and when he does what’s he even doing there? He could be doing anything from searching for her to trying rob the place; and sometimes he never planned on kissing her. Fate works in mysterious ways.

Or maybe what draws us to it is fairy’s casting spells willy-nilly. *shrug*

Kiss in Time

In A Kiss in Time by Alex Flynn when the princess, Talia, is waken up 300 years later it’s modern times. Once you hear the concept it seems so obvious, how come no one else has thought of it? But since they haven’t it’s brilliant. Something else interesting is that neither Jack or Talia start out as likable characters, but through the story they grow and change for the better and that’s really nice to see. It was also nice to see Talia lost in our modern world; a lot of fun!

Runners up:

The Wide Awake Princess by E. D. Baker

Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Carson Levine

Spindles End by Robin McKinley


I’m not quite sure why I love this one so much, maybe it’s cause I have long hair and my mom use to tease me and say that’d it grow to be as long as Rapunzel’s.

Plus I think we all feel trapped sometimes and feel like there’s no escape. But there’s always a way out, even if all you have is your hair, (and maybe a frying pan.)


Disney’s Tangled is one of my favorite movies ever! Filled with fun, adventure, a little romance, just the way I like it! I love that they explained things like why she can’t leave the tower and why her hair’s so long. I love that Gothel isn’t pure evil and sometimes seems like she really does worry about Rapunzel. And I LOVE the two main characters! Rapunzel may be naive but she doesn’t stand around, and she follows her dreams. And Flynn’s so hilarious and awesome! plus… he’s a thief! XD

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves:

This story shows that our family is the people we fit in with who take us in, not the stepmother trying to off us. And although I prefer the versions that gives the queen more of a reason to want Snow White dead, the original shows it’s dangerous to let jealousy go to far.

My favorite retelling of this one hasn’t been written yet and, shamefully, it’s my own story. I just can’t help it, one day I’ll publish it and maybe you’ll see why.

Runners up:

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

Snow White and the Huntsman

Well those are my favorites. What are yours?

I hope you have a happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day! May fairy tales forever be reinvented and may we never grow to old to enjoy them!

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