Very Grimm Fairy Tales

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There are many more gems however throughout the collection—both famous and lesser-known tales. None of the stories actually begin "Once upon a time", unless a translator decides to use that supposedly traditional expression opening instead of just "once", or "in olden days", or "many years ago". Living happily ever after, though, is definitely the preferred ending. So is the punishment of the villain, often a shrewish woman or witch whose eyes are pecked out by birds or her body pickled alive.

Oddly, however, the wicked occasionally win out in the end. Far from having "fairy tale" endings, some of these stories are quite cynical. There are many, many different translations of these stories, based on the various editions rewritten and expanded by the Grimms throughout their lifetimes, or based on later versions by other editors.

Books of Grimm's tales on the market today often don't tell you who the translator was, when the translation was done or what German edition was being translated. They are all valid in their own contexts however, and you might enjoy comparing different versions of the same tales, but the volume considered most definitive is the seventh and most complete edition published by Jacob and Wilhelm in This seventh edition includes two hundred folktales, plus ten "children's legends" that tend to be more explicitly religious.

The stories are numbered from 1 to , although some translations do not include the numbering and may change the order.


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There also exist some modern volumes that add stories found by the Grimms but not included in the editions put out in their lifetimes. As many as two hundred and fifty stories exist—although the added tales tend to be slender items or variants on stories already found among the two hundred and ten. Put aside your realistic expectations of literature.

In modern fantastical works the magical elements may be explained—introduced in a way that helps us accept them in the universe of the story we're reading. But in these fairy tales thye're just given: "A little bird heard her crying and gave her three wishes But don't think this way.

Think of someone telling you a joke: "A dog walks into a bar and says Approach these stories the same way. The magical elements are not the points of the stories. They're just there as devices to get to the points: evil punished, the fun a rascal can have, the mighty brought low, wits triumphing over wealth, pretensions crushed, and other lessons learned.

Don't read them all at once. They'll tend to blend together, their impact will dissipate and you'll soon forget most of them. Better to read one or two—they're mostly very short—and then put the book aside till next time. Imagine being told the stories a few every night around a hearth or as you go to bed. Keep dipping into them throughout your life.

Many of the tales you won't get right away. Some seem too silly or too remote from your modern experience. Written by GusF. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!

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Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. Few know that Rapunzel is another word for a vegetable called a rampion, which has leaves like lettuce and roots like a radish. The English phrase "let your hair down" may have hailed from the story of this golden-haired maiden. In this tale, a struggling, elderly cobbler is mysteriously aided by magical elves.

In the Harry Potter series, for example, house elves like Dobby pictured look after human wizards and are never seen again once given clothing, just as in the Grimm story. They were linguists, scholars, and researchers of German language and mythology, yet they lived most of their lives as underpaid academics - and likely never realized their work would someday reach world fame. While fairy tales like "Rapunzel" and "Snow White" may be familiar, the stories behind the tales may not be. Here are some tales worth a second read. Explore the gallery below for more German children's classics you can read in English.

A giant of German children's lit, Otfried Preussler wrote for kids aged six and up. In "The Robber Hotzenplotz," a man steals a grandma's coffee grinder - and two boys set off to capture him. This tale also features the wizard Petrosilius Zwackelmann. Say his name aloud - that's the kind of story this is. If the movie "The NeverEnding Story" thrilled you during your youth, you can - like the hero of that tale - immerse in Michael Ende's masterpiece that inspired the film.

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Grimm's Fairy Tales

Following the movie's success, his other works were also translated. In "The Trip to Panama," a bear and a tiger lead a dreamy and lazy life - until a wooden crate comes floating on a nearby river. Intrigued, the bear and tiger set off to find this wonderful smelling country. Their long and winding quest leads them to the best place on Earth: home. Janosch's imagery and surreal logic charm young and old alike.

Fairy Tales - The Water of Life (by the Grimm Brothers)

It also inspired the animated film "Impy's Island. It is told through the eyes of a nine-year-old, Anna, whose family flees Germany just as the Nazis take power. There is no war in this novel; it hasn't happened yet. But the story remains as relevant today as it ever has been: By the end, Anna and her family are refugees. Heading to Berlin? It'll take you and your children back to the German capital as it was in the late s. Decades later, it was adapted to the Hollywood blockbuster "The Parent Trap.

Many kindergartens and primary schools in Germany are named "Max and Moritz" after the prank-pulling duo in Wilhelm Busch's classic book. Note, however, that the book's pranks - and its moral compass - are firmly set in One example spoiler alert! That's it. The end. No sequel. Another sure way to traumatize your kids is "Struwwelpeter. At least some of the stories are lighter. One involves "Fidgety Philipp," whose dinner table antics spoil every meal. Even years later, his name is used to scold children who can't sit still: "Don't be such a Zappel-Philipp! The "Inkheart" trilogy was published in the midst of the "Harry Potter" hurricane but still went on to become a success.