Friday, March 21, 2014

Grim Before Grimm - A Brief (Audio) History of Cinderella, Rapunzel & Beauty and the Beast by Dr. Michelle Smith

Heckedy Peg (illustrated) by Don Wood
Here's a lovely little delicious dish for your ears: the history of three well known fairy tales summarized with their less-than-delicate origins intact (don't worry - the language is family friendly).

Each audio is very short, only 3 to 5 minutes long, and does a great job of entertainingly imparting the basic facts fairy tale students quickly learn about in their first year, and without overwhelming.

The text and audio is by Postdoctoral Fellow of English at the University of Melbourne Dr Michelle Smith.

First up, Cinderella (just click on the play button in the "box" to listen):
We know Cinderella as having a fairy god mother, but the earliest known version of the story features a ten foot long fish who grants her food, jewellery and fancy clothes.
 Next, Rapunzel:
Rapunzel has a saucy past says University of Melbourne's Dr Michelle Smith - a parsley sauce, to be precise.

And last, but not least, Beauty and the Beast:
The 'Beauty and the Beast' comes from a long European history of animal bridegroom stories where girls are wedded to bears, dogs, wolves, pigs, hedgehogs, snakes, frogs and sheep.

I hope you took the time to listen as it's well worth it. ( If you're short on time, you can easily do your Pinterest/Instagram/Tumblr browsing while Dr. Smith entertains you. ;) )

This special short series was released on Thursday by ABC Melbourne (Australia) to help promote a live broadcast (by Libby Gorr) for the Annual Children's Book Festival happening on March 23rd. More information can be found about the series and the upcoming live broadcast HERE.

I'd love to see (hear) more series like this! Brief, summarized, with a good sense of humor and especially, accessible to the general public.

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