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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

January 23, 2011

edited by Hamilton Wright Mabie, 1905. The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library. Doubleday, Doran & Co. Inc., for the Parents’ Institute, Inc. Publishers of “The Parents’ Magazine.” (Kindle Edition)

For play is not organized idleness, frivolity set in a fanciful order; it is the normal, spontaneous exercise of physical activity, the wholesome gayety of the mind, the natural expression of the spirit, without self-consciousness, constraint, or the tyranny of hours and tasks. It is the highest form of energy, because it is free and creative; a joy in itself, and therefore a joy in the world.

… children do not read introductions, because they know that the valuable part of the book is to be found in the later pages.

So DH got me a Kindle Latest Generation (not the 3G version) for Christmas. It was a pleasant surprise. He loaded it up with free books he thought I would enjoy before sending it to me. There were bets on board whether he actually send it or keep it for himself!

This was the first book I read on my kindle. It brought back memories of my Freud and Fairy Tales Honors course in college. That course focused solely on the Grimm Brothers but this book had a greater variety. I thought the quote on what is “play” was an appropriate aside to my last blog entry.

As I read (and highlighted on my Kindle–how cool!) the second quote, I was of course chagrined that I was actually reading the introduction, the academic discourse on fairy tales, rather than diving right into the many fascinating stories. I felt like a child caught with my hand in the cookie jar.

I was indeed very grateful for DH’s thoughtfulness when I was laid up with the stomach flu. Not that I couldn’t have just picked up one of the many books lying around the house. But there was some thing to be said for turning the screen landscape, just pressing a button to turn the page, enlarging the font so I didn’t have to wear my glasses, or just flick a switch to power it down when I could no longer stay awake.

T1 and T2 are now both working their way through this book. The bookmarking feature is helping keep track of who is reading where. Hopefully the important lessons are subliminally seeping in and they are encouraged to go “play” and have their own adventures during life’s adversity.

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