Besides the use of the fairy tale artwork, I concentrated on why we should avoid giving sanitized editions of fairy tales to our children...dropped the following post in a homeschool board:
"The Uses of Enchantment The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales"
by Bruno Bettelheim
Fariy tales get a bad rap, nowadays. Parents longing to protect their children from evil, scary things in the world do well to remember that this is the world to which we are preparing them to face. By trying to postpone or color the harsh realities of life, we are doing them a great disservice.
Rather than shelter children from life's evils, we can equip them with the tools needed to face them head-on with confidence. Bettelheim says that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human experience. If one does not shy away, "but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious."
The fairy tale, according to Bettelheim, confronts the child squarely with the most scary subjects in life: death, aging, loss of a parent, being trapped or lost, and other stresses. The fairy tale simplifies all situations, allowing the child to come to grips with the problem in its most essential form. The figures are clearly drawn and the details, unless very important, are eliminated. All characters are typical rather than unique. Evil is as common as any virtue and both are usually embodied in the form of a figure or their actions. Evil is not without its attractions, "symbolized by the mighty dragon or giant, the power of the witch, the cunning queen in 'Snow White.' " In many fairy tales the usurper succeeds for a time-as with Cinderella's sisters and step-mother-but in the end, the evildoer is punished, and the moral is that crime does not pay. Because the child follows the hero through his or her journey, he can identify with the hero in all his struggles-suffering and triumphing with him. Bettelheim says that the child "makes such identifications all on his own, and the inner and outer struggles of the hero imprint morality on him."
I always thank my mother for giving me the joy of reading. Later, I found that my gram did the same for my mum. And I was steeped in fariy tales.
My son's tutor lent me Bettelheim's book. Before owning her bookstore, she taught at a school for troubled children. They were residents of the school due to abandonment or taken away from parents. These kids had little experience to none of a warm family, let alone being read to.
She told how important the fairy tales were to them; she could see this in action. Especially Hansel and Gretel. Two children abandoned in the woods. She could see how this psychologically helped them come to grips with say their mum leaving them in a hotel room and never coming back.
An extreme example, yes, but all children have fears of losing parents and a great many other things.