If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. -Albert Einstein-
Fairy Tales are the root of storytelling. They are also the most popular children’s books. No surprise at all! I have been reading fairy tales for decades, and telling them, too. Children can’t get enough, and I know why.
Fairy Tales give children the biggest and most important lessons in life; good vs evil, right vs wrong. Every child wants to be a princess or a king or a dragon. These timeless tales let children figure out ‘life’. Yes, life.
There are bad guys and scary creatures in fairy tales. Terrible things happen. There are good guys; hens, bears, billy goats, boys, girls. Good things happen. That’s how children learn. Well, that’s how they learn about the most important things in life. Really.
My class loves Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We couldn’t get enough of this classic fairy tale.
We read multiple versions, with books by Jan Brett and Paul Galdone being the favorites. We debated Goldilocks; not if she was good or bad, but far more. Why did she not listen to her mother and go into the house of the three bears? She opened the door on her own! The “W” questions (who, what, when, where, and also how) trigger the deepest discussions. Oh, how I love seizing that moment. When I read-aloud I stop. All the time. The best learning happens spontaneously.
I introduced humor, Mo Willems version, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Humor is sophisticated for young children, so reading this book after the other versions took them to a new level. They ‘got it’. The inside cover of the book was the icing on the cake, with each potential title crossed out, such as, “Goldilocks and the Three Alligators.”
Ah-ha! Children went from a deep understanding of a classic fairy tale to one with sophisticated humor. Yet, they wanted more. So, we wrote our own version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
The language in this story is rich and full of thinking for three and four-year-olds. “Goldilocks was a not-listener.” “She was sad and angry and that made her tired.” “They investigated the house.”
This story can only happen from children who have read a fairy tale. Albert Einstein was right.