Well, I admit I am planning an entire series of posts on this topic, inspired by Perri Klass's presentation at Grimm Legacies and my own reading. But this is a "top" news stories in the Daily Mail with a new survey to be considered, so I might as well share it while it's hot. Yes?
From Are fairy tales too scary for today's children? Parents admit they refuse to read classics to youngsters By Daily Mail Reporter:
A quarter of the 2,000 parents polled said they wouldn’t consider reading a fairytale to their child until they had reached the age of five, as they prompt too many awkward questions.
Instead, they favour more recent books such as The Gruffalo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Mr Men series.
Steve Hornsey of television channel Watch, which commissioned the study to mark the launch of U.S. drama Grimm, said: ‘As adults we can see the innocence in fairytales, but a five-year-old with an over-active imagination could take things too literally.’
There's more article to read, of course, but the sidebar cannot be missed!
THE END? Top ten fairy tales no longer read to children
1. Hansel and Gretel - Storyline about two abandoned kids is thought likely to scare children
2. Jack and the Beanstalk - Deemed too 'unrealistic'
3. Gingerbread Man - Parents uncomfortable explaining gingerbread man gets eaten by fox
4. Little Red Riding Hood - Deemed unsuitable by parents who must explain a girl's grandmother has been eaten by a wolf
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - The term 'dwarves' was found to be inappropriate
6. Cinderella - Story about a young girl doing all the housework was considered outdated
7. Rapunzel - Parents were worried about the focus on a young girl being kidnapped
8. Rumpelstiltskin - Parents unhappy reading about executions and kidnapping
9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Parents say it sends the wrong messages about stealing
10. Queen Bee - Deemed inappropriate as the story has a character called Simpleton
As always, my suggestion--know yourself, know your child. I'm not saying fairy tales are best for everyone, but don't throw them away either. We need our cultural touchstones if nothing else matters. And there are going to be bumps along the way no matter what when it comes to reading with children.