January retelling link-up | Fairytale beginnings.


(Unless you are Snow White)
Welcome to the beginning of the reading challenge! I hope you had a good New Year's Eve.

First off, if you haven't signed up for this challenge, you can until January 31. Go to the introduction post with the master sign-up linky. Other technical details: don't forget to tweet with the hash-tag #fairytaleRC so I'm able to see all your tweets.

I hope you are all ready to get some reading done (let me know in the comments which level you are aiming for and what your first book might be.) At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name. This is your master post, like your challenge page.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.
CHALLENGE1 - @ your name/blog name.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land,
A young Prince lived in a shining castle
Although he had everything his heart desired, 
The Prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. 
Since this is the first month and start of our reading challenge, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about beginnings. The most popular one is of course Once upon a time which has been used since at least 1380 according to Oxford English Dictionary. It is commonly used as translation for the stories of the French Charles Perrault for ‘il était une fois’ , the Danish Hans Christian Anderson for ‘der var engang’ (this means literally ‘there was once.’) or the German Brothers Grimm for ‘es war einmal’ (which means ‘it was once.’) There is a long list with different openings right here: Folktale openings.
Originally the stories we nowadays call fairytales were not seen as separate genre. They come from the German term ‘Märchen’ which means ‘little story.’ The genre was first marked by writers of the Renaissance and stabilized through the works of collectors like the Brothers Grimm. The English word ‘fairytales’ comes from Madame d’Aulnoy who invented the term ‘conte de fée’ in the late 17th century.  Source. Besides Once upon a time, are you familiar with another openings sentence? I know ‘Once there was’ which is the English translation from our Dutch ‘Er was eens’ beginning.
But then, one winter's night, an old beggar-woman came to the castle, 
And offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. 
Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the Prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away,
But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, 
For beauty is found within. 
Another beginning I want to talk about is how it all started. Your challenge is; write a post about your first memory and why you love fairytales and retellings. (This is of course optional.) If you’re not participating in the challenge, definitely leave a comment. The first thing I can remember is how my mother used to read bed-time stories and she always had to read Beauty and the Beast. We had this hardback picture book from a Disney collection (I still have it) and I knew the story by heart. I was enchanted by Belle and her dance scene with the Beast was my favorite part – together with the scene where he gives her his library. You can say that Disney started it all and I talked a bit about this before in my Why I love Disney post. We also had two gigantic fairytale books with original stories in it and I couldn't get enough of it. I believe one was from the Brothers Grimm and the other from Anderswn.

To me, there is something magical about a good old fairytale. There is something charming and captivating about them and yes, I do love my happily-ever-after once in a while. I love retellings, because the authors manage to transform the basics into an unique new story. It still holds the magic from the original tale, but they add interesting twists or sassy characters. That's in short why I can’t get enough of this genre.
By the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. 
If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. 
As the years passed, he fell into despair, and lost all hope. 
For who could ever learn to love a Beast?

24 comments

  1. Wow,you've really done your research,Mel!I've always loved the phrase,'Once Upon a Time'.At a certain age,every story I read started with it,and every story I attempted to write-let's not talk about those attempts.I am not so proud of it:)-had the phrase as the beginning .I've found it captivating.

    That's so sweet,Mel!I was not that fortunate enough to have someone to read me bed time stories at night as my mother was not that fluent enough in English to read me something.But I've always loved reading fairy tales as a child.
    I really like the idea of the challenge.I'd love to do the post.

    Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

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  2. I'm probably not going to do this challenge since I didn't grow up with fairytales like other people did. It was just something I gradually got into after all the Disney movies. Oh, and I do have a compilation of Disney stories here, too! Sometimes when my niece sleeps over she'd ask me to read to her. We're huge fans of Beauty and the Beast as well, Mel! :D <3

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    1. Ahh, how cute! And you two have a good taste ;)

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  3. This was such an interesting post! I definitely didn't know that "Once upon a time" had been around since such a long time ago, but I guess it makes sense. I have to say that it's become quite a cliche phrase nowadays, but it's totally badass when used appropriately. xD

    And that is such a sweet memory! Like Aimee, I didn't grow up on fairy tales, haha. My parents read to me books like Peter and Jane, or Dr. Seuss, or something by Enid Blyton (though can her books be considered fairytale-ish?). But really, I don't think it matters what kinds of books we grew up with -- in the end, the fact that our parents read to us is good enough, since it most likely helped kindle our love for books!

    Speaking of fairytales, I have to say that my favorite by far is Sleeping Beauty. ;) I love Beauty and the Beast too, though! Thanks for sharing, Mel!

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    1. Definitely! I also read a lot of other books together with my mother and just the memory of having someone read for you before to sleep is important :)

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  4. Oh, I love this post Mel. <3 The quotes are beautiful :) Best of luck with this challenge this year :D I won't sign up, as I don't know if I will be able to complete it :p but I will be watching for what books you read, hih. <3 Happy reading sweetie :)

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  5. Sounds like an interesting challenge and I love how you delved into the history of fairy tales. Belle is my favourite Disney princess and I just find something enchanting about the fairy tales! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing how this goes.

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  6. This reminds me of my children's literature class from college. I need to pull out those papers. I think there were a few articles that you might enjoy, and certainly I think you would've enjoyed our first essay assignment about fairy tale retellings :D. I wish that my mother had read me fairy tales as yours had! Sounds so nice to grow up with them. To this day I haven't gotten to watch the ... no, not Sleeping Beauty. Gosh, I don't even know the name of the fairy tale. Aha! Wikipedia helps. The one with Aurora. I haven't even read so many of these. Learning about the history, as you've mentioned, and some of the alternate tales, like Perrault's instead of the Grimm's, was a bit shocking but still fascinating. Will one of your posts for this challenge involve listing your favorite retellings? I hope so. Can't wait to get some recommendations from Mel :).

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    1. That sounds like a fun essay :D The one with Aurora is sleeping beauty, so you are right! I'm going to address the alternate/original tales and my favorite retellings (look out for the May link-up ;))

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  7. I don't know if I'll be able to do the challenge, but it sounds really fun and I LOVE the idea of it. I'm such a fan of research and I love that you added that in here. Good luck :)

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    1. I tried to make the link-up posts more appealing to everyone, so you can always follow them and join in the comments :)

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  8. It's cool that you used 'Er was eens ' in your post , Mel. I grew up with Grimm and Anderson fairy tales along side anansi Tories . That smart but manipulate spider ^_^. My aunt bought me the European fairy tales on my 8 year old birthday. I can't believe that she gave me the original version and not the watered down ones. Haha. Maybe that's why I love darker books. I read them in dutch because that's my first language) ( I'm a born and raised surinamese guy)


    Er tin tin, in me aiti jari me ben fall verliefd tap Tories. SrAnang cultoeru Nanga tatta wit mang wan. ( in srAnang - it's just that of the above )


    Amazing post, Mel

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    1. I had never heard of anansi Tories before! Fun, I did some research on Google :D

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  9. I love that you put so much extra work into the challenge and give us some extras! Awesome post Mel! Makes me want to dive into a retelling right this second! :)

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    1. Great! :) I try to make the posts a bit more interesting for everyone.

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  10. Beauty and the Beast is still my all time favourite film. I love it so much that I got quite excited when I saw the opening lines in your post! Thanks for hosting this event - I think it's going to be great fun! Brilliant post.

    (And if you need any help with anything for the challenge throughout the year, then I'm happy to help!)

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    1. I will keep that in mind, thanks for the offer :D!

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  11. I loved fairytale since i was kid. I'm originally from Russia, so i read bunch through years. This is first year that i am doing the challenge. I decided do The Wise Princess one. I do have full time job, a teacher but still decided to try it out. Do you know of any fairy tale like books i can read? I haven't read any in a while.

    Happy New Year!
    Jenia

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    1. Welcome to the challenge! I recommend taking a look at my fairytale shelf on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5387491-mel?shelf=fairytales

      But here are a couple of titles I highly recommend:
      -Rosamund Hodge - Cruel beauty.
      -Jodi Lynn Anderson - Tiger Lily.
      -Juliet Marillier - especially Heart's blood.

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    2. Thank You! I will take look.

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  12. I love Beauty and the Beast as well! Definitely one of my favourite fairytales and Disney films :)

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  13. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite story. My love for fairy tales definitely started with The Little Mermaid. My big brother bought me my first Disney doll of Ariel and I was hooked.

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  14. You are going to do so awesome leading this challenge, Mel! I love this post! "Once upon a time..." such an unforgettable phrase. <3 Good luck with it this year! I know I'll be reading a few retellings - Winter and Scarlet series for sure. :)

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  15. I almost missed the challenge! I don't know what I was thinking... Great topic, I'm looking forward to completing more this year :)

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