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by Fricka on ‎05-06-2011 06:57 PM

Hmmmm, that's a tough question for me, Ellen.

I don't have any memories of my parents reading bed -time stories to me, although there were plenty of books in our home. My mom once indicated my early interest in printed material by telling me that I had drooled over the cover of one of her women's magazines. I should probably clarify that the non- bed-time reading was probably more due to my being restless and not a good listener  when I was little. As soon as I could walk, I was running, and my mom has told me repeatedly that I did not like to be held in her lap for long--probably thinking about where I would like to run to as soon as I could get down. But I do remember having copies of lots of children's books--the usual Little Red Riding Hood(I had two versions of that), Hansel and Gretel(illustrated by Eloise Wilkin--I still have my copy of that!)

Some books featuring stories by Miss Frances, Peter and His Pals, which was the story of young Peter having a birthday party, and all of his friends coming over with their pets, and Peter providing the right kinds of foods for friends and pets alike. I loved that book! Also had a great one about Santa's Workshop, which I think I still have tucked in a drawer somewhere. I kind of hate to admit it, but I doubt I was a very good audience for either of my parents to read to. Even today, I still prefer to read a story silently to myself rather than listening to someone else do so. Guess that's one reason I don't go in for Audio books. I'd much rather read the story to myself.

I don't have children, but if I did, I suspect that I'd be trying to read the Harry Potter series to them, at least if they weren't too much like me and could sit still for a chapter reading at a time.


by Blogger Ellen_Scordato on ‎05-13-2011 04:31 PM

Yes, as soon as I could read--at about 4--I was sneaking books and flashlights under the covers to read myself to sleep.

But I do remember hearing stories read from a book of old fairytales that my grandad had brought back from NYC, from FAO Schwarz. it had the most bloodcurdling versions of the stories, and truly terrifying gnomish illustrations. I found it years later and yes, it was a beautiful older German book -- much less tame than the American versions! But those gnomish figures were still rather terrifying.

by Fricka on ‎05-16-2011 10:15 PM

Ah, yes, those original, non-Disney-ized versions of the Grimm's (and other) fairy tales. I remember getting my hands on a beautifully illustrated book of Fairy Tales from the elementary school library. ( Those must have been the days before parent censors would have taken that book out of the library, or gotten it put on something like a reserve shelf). I remember there was a follow-up story to one of the princess stories--can't remember now if it was Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or a different princess, but the gist of the story was that the prince had to go on some kind of necessary trip, and his mother, the old queen, tried to get rid of his wife, and their small child. The prince got back just as his mother was getting ready to have his wife and child lowered into a cauldron full of poisonous spiders and snakes. He had his mother put in the pot instead!

"Donkey-Skin" was another story, where the female protagonist had to put on a donkey-skin during the night, but was a beautiful woman at night. Her lover got her and himself into trouble by destroying the donkey-skin before her time of enchantment was up.

I read every story in that book, and even though I probably remember the illustrations best, the stories had a certain fascination that the expurgated versions of folk tales just did not have.


by Fricka on ‎05-16-2011 10:20 PM

Sorry--that should read that " Donkey-skin"  had to wear the donkey-skin during the DAY, but was in her human form at night. Now that I think of it, that sounds an awful lot like the Selkie legend, only of course in this case, it was a donkey-skin rather than a seal skin that was involved.

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