Our generation and all those before us have grown up on a decent overdose of fairy tales, where a princess in distress was faced with a life threatening situation and was eventually rescued by a knight in shining armor. I must confess that as a child I enjoyed these fairy tales with almost dreamy eyes. In Hindsight, I have to give the credit for my fascination to these fairy tales more to my library co-ordinator who would present these stories with such immaculate narrative. They just sounded so magical at that time from her point of view. As a teenager, I almost forgot all about these fairy tales. The academic rut, the new age ambition of having a career left no space for reminiscing over the irrelevant in this age fairy tales.
It is only recently after I have had kids of my own that I revisited the fairy tales such as Snow white, Cinderella and Rupunzel and was almost dumbstruck at the male chauvinism that these tales reeked of. And then as I explored the social media I (with immense relief) saw that the sentiment with respect to these old time fairy tales was almost similar. But then is there an alternative? Or are we doomed to do away with fairy tales all together? Why am I sad? Well despite the misgiving of these old school fairy tales and their irrelevance in todays time and age, there was an element of innocence and virtue in these stories. And I definitely would be happy with a new age alternative.
The good news is no, we need not completely do away with fairy tales and deprive our kids of the virtuous innocence of story- telling. With the ‘New Age Fairy Tales’ by Ariana Gupta, there is now a new age alternative to stories that are relevant and apt to the current times.
New Age Fairy Tales – Book Blurb
The Little Mermaid does not give up her tail
Cinderella refuses to fail
Snow White is all except white
Sleeping Beauty knows how to fight
Brains is the new Beauty
Teaching little ones feminism is our duty
New Age Fairy Tales – Book Review
Though the new age fairy tales finds its roots from the traditional versions of the fairy tales such as ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Beauty & the Beast’, but young Ariana Gupta has tweeked the tales enough to make them fall in line with the modern times – expectations and aspirations of young girls whose sole aim of life is not just to find their prince charming. They want to independent, be respected and live life on their conditions. No they are not the damsels in distress.
I liked how Ariana has touched upon the gamut of issues faced by girls ranging from being judged based on skin color, to changing their identity in order to get married, to facing the wrath of the society for being career oriented or facing gender discrimination at work place.
The illustrations, again by Ariana Gupta are graceful and pleasing to the eye. They complement the narrative very aptly and make reading the book delightful. And not to forget, all the characters in the half a dozen stories are Indian, so they are much more relatable.
I suggest this book for all kids (boys or girls) and their parents, because as the young author says
It is our responsibility to teach all our kids feminism
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