university makeover

nytimes.com
Fairy Tales, Gently Fractured
Audiobooks of Garth Nix’s “Frogkisser!” and Chris Colfer’s “The Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales” offer kids spit-shined versions of Grimm Brothers’ classics.
By A.j. Jacobs

You don’t have to own a knitted pink cap or the collected works of Roxane Gay to find the sexual politics of fairy tales troubling. Among the lessons fairy tales impart:

Upward mobility is possible — if you’re a ravishing beauty (“Cinderella”). Women don’t need to talk — or breathe, really — as long as they are physically attractive (“Snow White”). Abducting women is a viable path to romance (“Beauty and the Beast”). The nonconsensual kissing of coma victims is a great way to meet your mate (“Sleeping Beauty”).

Pretty retrograde, even in the post-Hillary era. Which is why recent retellings and mash-ups of fairy tales tend to give the Grimm brothers universe a feminist makeover, or at least a feminist sheen.

[…] “Frogkisser!” comes several years after the actor Chris Colfer started to publish his own fairy-tale-inspired books with a girl-power twist. Colfer’s series the Land of Stories follows a pair of 12-year-old twins who are magically sucked into a book of fairy tales. (My kids and I are on Vol. 3 of six of the hardcovers.) In Colfer’s books, damsels are rarely in distress. Goldilocks, for instance, is a sword-wielding warrior and Sleeping Beauty hasn’t slept in years because she’s working tirelessly to reform her kingdom.

Colfer’s new audiobook, “The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales,” is related to the series, but also a departure. It doesn’t feature the adventuring twins, but instead is a straightforward collection of fairy tales. Twenty-five stories from the Grimm brothers, Hans Christian Andersen and others, are retold and tidied up a bit by Colfer.

I recommend it for three reasons. First, Colfer — an actor most famous for playing a countertenor teenager on “Glee” — is a wizard at voices. In “Henny Penny,” he gives distinct, birdlike cadences to a duck, a goose, hen, rooster and a turkey. His yawn from Goldilocks was convincing enough to make me yawn in the driver’s seat.

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I said I’d do the thing so I did the thing :|b

These two are super flippity-skippity so it figures that Mesi is a boomerang babe and Arthur gets a cut-throat razor no references to the Great Dictator here no move along. Also Jet is really light and is often sourced from the UK, while Tiger’s Eye is hella solid and often comes from South Africa, so that works out too!

(Amethyst I am not sure that is helping but don’t let that stop you)

You don’t have to own a knitted pink cap or the collected works of Roxane Gay to find the sexual politics of fairy tales troubling. Among the lessons fairy tales impart:

Upward mobility is possible — if you’re a ravishing beauty (“Cinderella”). Women don’t need to talk — or breathe, really — as long as they are physically attractive (“Snow White”). Abducting women is a viable path to romance (“Beauty and the Beast”). The nonconsensual kissing of coma victims is a great way to meet your mate (“Sleeping Beauty”).

Pretty retrograde, even in the post-Hillary era. Which is why recent retellings and mash-ups of fairy tales tend to give the Grimm brothers universe a feminist makeover, or at least a feminist sheen.
[…] “Frogkisser!” comes several years after the actor Chris Colfer started to publish his own fairy-tale-inspired books with a girl-power twist. Colfer’s series the Land of Stories follows a pair of 12-year-old twins who are magically sucked into a book of fairy tales…In Colfer’s books, damsels are rarely in distress. Goldilocks, for instance, is a sword-wielding warrior and Sleeping Beauty hasn’t slept in years because she’s working tirelessly to reform her kingdom.