Tag Archives: children’s classics

The Complete Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales

Ok, so I know that I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this–but I’m nothing if not honest…. 51CARXQDTVL._SL500_AA300_

I seriously did not like the collection of HCA’s Fairy Tales.

Sorry, sorry–hear me out.

Ok, we all know the classics. The Little Mermaid. The Steadfast Tin Soldier. The Nightingale  The Ugly Duckling. The Little Match Girl. I enjoyed those. For his time, HCA was totally groundbreaking. I mean, he and the Brothers Grimm kinda went back and forth ripping each other off a few times, but it is what it is. Never before had such fantastical tales been told! And I can appreciate that, I can, but from a modern viewpoint they are extremely dry.

Not to mention, really weird…

HCA had a tendency to forget facts he had already included and then change information later on down the road. And it seemed like if he wasn’t sure how to close a story or get rid of a character–BOOM YOU ARE DEAD, SIR! But not even in a way that really made sense. He just kinda trailed off with a lame, “And then he died…” or something like that.

He seemed to have some pretty extreme Christian leanings too, and a horribly misogynistic point of view. If you were a little girl and you did one bad thing–BOOM WE ARE CUTTING OFF YOUR FEET AND SENDING YOU TO HELL. Woah… If I had body parts amputated every time I misbehaved…let’s just say I’d be a pile of hair in the corner by now. At one point a little girl who did the unthinkable–stepped on a piece of bread in order to spare her new shoes–sunk down through the ground to Hell, where she was frozen like stone, covered in snakes and toads, and every time her mother cried for her the tears dripped down on her head and burned like acid.

That’s kinda messed up, dude.

So, don’t get me wrong–I totally understand that he was one of the forefathers of modern literature/fantasy. But his stories could be vastly improved on and (don’t hate me) I enjoyed some of Disney’s retellings better.

Let’s just say there is a reason why you’ve never heard of The Jewish Maid, Little Claus and Big Claus, or The Darning Needle.

It’s because they sucked.

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

You’d think that someone whom, on average, reads about a hundred books a year would’ve at some point gotten around to the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (Or as I’ve referred to it in my head for my entire life–Alice in Wonderland–but whatever…) This weekend I decided to hunker down and sink my teeth into the classic children’s tale that’s spawned innumerable movies, games, tv mini-series, and slutty Halloween costumes. 

It wasn’t… quite what I’d expected…

It was at once extremely familiar and yet utterly weird. I’ve seen so many of the story points used or referenced in other works that it was almost as if I’d read it before. (Plus, it made me realize that Disney actually interpreted the book pretty well with it’s old cartoon version). Also, Through the Looking Glass seemed to be the predominate reference for Tim Burton’s movie. I was kind of disappointed there wasn’t an epic battle between Alice and the Jabberwocky in the books, however…

I guess I also discovered the reason Carroll sent an innocent and polite English schoolchild down the rabbit hole and not a twenty-something hormone-fueled blonde girl. I would’ve killed probably everyone I encountered in Wonderland while I was there–the characters were so annoying! I get that everything is supposed to be whimsical and nonsensical (and in TTLG, backwards) but come on. Alice didn’t have a single conversation that made sense and everyone was so easily offended by everything she said… I just wanted to punch them.

I don’t want to go to Wonderland if everyone there is such a crazy dick. Honestly, you can have the same exact experience in Ybor City without ever setting foot near a rabbit hole. The Mad Hatter would be a creepy homeless dude, the March Hare would be a nervous skinny kid lost in the bowels of the Castle, and the Red Queen would most surely be a drag queen. (Except instead of screaming “Off with his head!” she’d be screaming something else about head…)

Too weird.

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