We love folk and fairy tales, and we are not afraid of reading them to our children. It might be true that some adults might use them to control children in harmful ways, but it is pretty much anything that can be used in harmful ways. We all know how the children-eating old lady used a beautiful delicious gingerbread house for the purpose – as we have all read the tale of Hansel and Gretel.
What has helped the best folk and fairy tales withstand the test of time is the fact that they present evil in a wholesome way – they teach children how to identify it, even if it is not immediately obvious, and they teach children that it can be avoided or defeated.
Slavic folklore is one of our most favourite sources of tales – both folk and authored ones. Its roots are deep and bring to us the wisdom and sense of beauty of our predecessors.
We have a really beautiful collection of tales to share: Croatian Tales of Long Ago. Follow the link to flip through the whole of it online or get it in a more convenient format to print out from Project Gutenberg. Unfortunately, the English translation contains fewer tales than we have read in our native Bulgarian, but still you are getting more than 200 pages of the best tales we have ever read.
The author, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. She was born in the 19th century, and she wrote the tales at the beginning of the 20th.
The tales are long. They present the evil and the scary in a variety of ways, and they can make a good seasonal reading as Halloween approaches. From our perspective they are really rich and deep literature, unlike most of the scary stories that are mass produced for commercial purposes. They create a special atmosphere that is so rare.
Keep an eye on our blog for more recommendations of good children’s literature and more texts on how fairy tales benefit children.
Here are some of our older texts you might enjoy: