Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Book: New Approaches to Teaching Folk and Fairy Tales edited by Christa Jones and Claudia Schwabe

New Approaches to Teaching Folk and Fairy Tales edited by Christa Jones and Claudia Schwabe was released in August.

First of all this is not a text book. It is a collection of articles about different methods of teaching folklore in the classroom. The contributors share their experiences in the classroom, sometimes including the syllabi for the classes they have designed.

The articles are wide ranging in their approaches, including but not strictly limited to political, linguistic, and gender studies. They are valuable because they offer perspectives from real world experiences from professors who have used these approaches. One of the themes I found most fascinating was the discussion about choice of translations and adaptations to share in the classroom, including Christine A. Jones' course that studies the translation of French tales.

In the end, the articles make you wish to be a student again--if you aren't now--with the ability to take all of these classes (since they are scattered at various universities around the globe) and participate in the classroom discussions, to see and feel how these materials spark inspiration and understanding of folklore and dare I say the world, too, for the students.

Book description:

New Approaches to Teaching Folk and Fairy Tales provides invaluable hands-on materials and pedagogical tools from an international group of scholars who share their experiences in teaching folk- and fairy-tale texts and films in a wide range of academic settings.

This interdisciplinary collection introduces scholarly perspectives on how to teach fairy tales in a variety of courses and academic disciplines, including anthropology, creative writing, children’s literature, cultural studies, queer studies, film studies, linguistics, second language acquisition, translation studies, and women and gender studies, and points the way to other intermedial and intertextual approaches. Challenging the fairy-tale canon as represented by the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and Walt Disney, contributors reveal an astonishingly diverse fairy-tale landscape.

The book offers instructors a plethora of fresh ideas, teaching materials, and outside-the-box teaching strategies for classroom use as well as new and adaptable pedagogical models that invite students to engage with class materials in intellectually stimulating ways. A cutting-edge volume that acknowledges the continued interest in university courses on fairy tales, New Approaches to Teaching Folk and Fairy Tales enables instructors to introduce their students to a new, critical understanding of the fairy tale as well as to a host of new tales, traditions, and adaptations in a range of media.

Contributors: Anne E. Duggan, Cyrille Fran├žois, Lisa Gabbert, Pauline Greenhill, Donald Haase, Christa C. Jones, Christine A. Jones, Jeana Jorgensen, Armando Maggi, Doris McGonagill, Jennifer Orme, Christina Phillips Mattson, Claudia Schwabe, Anissa Talahite-Moodley, Maria Tatar, Francisco Vaz da Silva, Juliette Wood

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Donald Haase

Introduction by Christa C. Jones and Claudia Schwabe

Fairy tales, myth, and fantasy by Cristina Phillips Mattson and Maria Tatar

Teaching fairy tales in folklore classes by Lisa Gabbert

At the bottom of a well: teaching the otherworld as a folktale environment by Juliette Wood

The fairy-tale forest as memory site: romantic imagination, cultural construction, and a hybrid approach to teaching the Grimms' fairy tales and the environment by Doris McGonagill

Grimms' fairy tales in a political context: teaching East German fairy-tale films by Claudia Schwabe

Teaching Charles Perrault's histoires, ou, contes du temps passé in the literary and historical context of the Sun King's reign by Christa C. Jones

Lessons from Shahrazad: teaching about cultural dialogism by Anissa Talahite-Moodley

The significance of translation by Christine A. Jones

Giambattista Basile's The Tale of Tales in the hands of the Brothers Grimm by Armando Maggi

Teaching Hans Christian Andersen's tales: a linguistic approach by Cyrille François

Teaching symbolism in "Little Red Riding Hood" by Francisco Gentil Vaz da Silva

Binary outlaws: queering the classical tale in François Ozon's Criminal lovers and Catherine Breillat's The sleeping beauty by Anne E. Duggan

Teaching "Gender in fairy tale films and cinematic folklore" online negotiating between needs and wants by Pauline Greenhill and Jennifer Orme

Intertextuality, creativity, and sexuality: group exercises in the fairy-tale/gender studies classroom by Jeana Jorgensen

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree for $1.99


Below is my post from two years ago about Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree which is currently on sale in ebook edition for $1.99.

From 2014:

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury: I wanted to recommend it as a great book that shares Halloween traditions with readers young and old. The folkloric content is of interest to the usual SurLaLune reader which is why I am sharing here. A dear friend loves the book and has written a much better post about the book and how it has become an annual part of her Halloween celebration at this post: The Halloween Tree. I missed recommending it here last year because it was too late when I thought of it. Why torture you with what you couldn't order in time to use for the holiday?

Book description:

Special indeed are holiday stories with the right mix of high spirits and subtle mystery to please both adults and children--Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," for example. Or Ray Bradbury's classic The Halloween Tree. Eight boys set out on a Halloween night and are led into the depths of the past by a tall, mysterious character named Moundshroud. They ride on a black wind to autumn scenes in distant lands and times, where they witness other ways of celebrating this holiday about the dark time of year. Bradbury's lyrical prose whooshes along with the pell-mell rhythms of children running at night, screaming and laughing, and the reader is carried along by its sheer exuberance.

Bradbury's stories about children are always attended by dread--of change, adulthood, death. The Halloween Tree, while sweeter than his adult literature, is also touched at moments by the cold specter of loss--which is only fitting, of course, for a holiday in honor of the waning of the sun.

This is a superb book for adults to read to children, a way to teach them, quite painlessly, about customs and imagery related to Halloween from ancient Egypt, Mediterranean cultures, Celtic Druidism, Mexico, and even a cathedral in Paris. (One caveat, though: Bradbury unfortunately perpetuates a couple of misconceptions about Samhain, or summer's end, the Halloween of ancient Celts and contemporary pagans.) This beautiful reprint edition has the original black-and-white illustrations and a new color painting on the dust jacket. --Fiona Webster

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Purple Mattress and Goldilocks

Hubby John shared this with me several weeks ago and I kept forgetting to post it, cause LIFE.

I've seen a lot of advertising for mattresses using Goldilocks over the years--funny how it's almost always mattresses, never chairs, and rarely food--and this is one of my favorites to date. No, not the egg test but the fun references to the fairy tale make it charming for me. Mallory Everton, or Goldilocks here, is a favorite, too.

There is also a behind the scenes video:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fairy Tales in Advertising: Geico's Sleeping Beauty

During this busy time, I've really missed the Fairy Tales in Advertising posts I enjoy sharing so much. Rank commercialism using fairy tales always fascinates me. This Geico commercial is one of the newest to use Sleeping Beauty.

Commercial description:

What if Prince Charming's kiss never woke Sleeping Beauty? What if Sleeping Beauty was never actually "asleep" at all? This latest 'It's What You Do' campaign commercial turns a classic fairy tale on its head with one of the oldest tricks in the book.

I'll also share the behind the scenes, making of the commercial video:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Book: Fairy Tale Frankie and the Tricky Witch by Greg Gormley and Steven Lenton

Looking for a not scary, lighthearted fairy tale book for Halloween for the youngest people in your life? Then check out Fairy Tale Frankie and the Tricky Witch by Greg Gormley (Author) and Steven Lenton (Illustrator).

The fairy tale connection is generic characters from fairy tales--princess, king, knight, etc.--not specific fairy tales. Now I am trying to think if there are any Halloween related books with specific fairy tale characters in them. None are coming to mind.

Anyway, this one will amuse the toddler set and is definitely not scary with lots of purple and pink to spare. I like that Frankie takes charge in the crisis and saves the day. And this doesn't have to be for Halloween, but it is a great book for the holiday, too.

As always, clicking on an image will open a larger image of it to view and read the text.

Book description:

A little girl finds her house overrun with fairy tale characters all looking for somewhere to hide from the witch in this fast-paced and funny picture book that brings all of your favorite tales to life!

Frankie loves fairy tales! And one morning she wakes up to find that all her favorite fairy tale characters have appeared in her house! From a princess to a king, a mermaid to a knight in armor—even a unicorn—and they’re all looking for a place to hide from the witch who’s coming fast! Can Frankie help them all? And once she’s hidden them, what will she do?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Big Announcements for SurLaLune: What's Coming Soon!

Bluebeard Illustration by Aaron McMillian

So I am concerned that everyone thinks that SurLaLune is being neglected. The truth is, that is anything but true. Yes, it's been a horrendously busy year for me in all other areas of my life, but SurLaLune is always on my mind. A day doesn't pass when I don't think of it or do something with it at least behind the scenes.

That said, most of the SurLaLune work is behind the scenes right now. But it will be rising again to public visibility soon.

On the near horizon:

1. A NEW SurLaLune Fairy Tales site design is coming in the next few months!

It's past time and this is what is taking a lot of focus from things like my blogging time but I have a team on this one this time. The new site will be modernized to fit mobile responsive needs, but we are aiming to keep the content as much the same as possible.

2. Three new SurLaLune Tales From Around the World books! Well, two new ones and a second edition on an older title.

First up will be: Puss in Boots and Other Cat Tales From Around the World. That will be released on Halloween, so it is coming QUICK, QUICK, QUICK! There are over 250 tales in the book. It's massive and I am hoping it will be as loved as  Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales From Around the World, the official SurLaLune series bestseller.

Second will be a Diamonds and Toads title: Kind and Unkind Girls Tales From Around the World.

Finally, in early 2017, there will be a new expanded edition of Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World. The first edition is out of print now and it was time to add more tales and update the design of the book's interior anyway.

The first edition of Sleeping Beauties used to be neck in neck in top sales with the  Mermaid and Other Water Spirit Tales From Around the World title, but now that it's been out of print for six months, it's sitting in a firm second place.

3. When we launch the new site, I will also be revising the SurLaLune CafePress shop. Many of the old designs will be retired but there will be new ones, like the one for Bluebeard at the top of the page by Aaron McMillian. Aaron has been one of my fairy godfathers of late, working on the site redesign as well as finding inspiration in the tales and creating new, awesome illustrations for me to use on new materials.

If you have designs that you really like there, please let me know because I don't plan to keep much. I will be refining and whittling it all down to more manageable and updated designs.

And if you have a wishlist of something you'd like to see on a shirt, mug, coaster tile, shower curtain, etc. let me know. I may be able to make that happen!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told by Jean Thompson for $1.99

The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told by Jean Thompson is on sale in ebook edition for $1.99.

Book description:

A National Book Award finalist and bestselling author, Jean Thompson’s new collection of “bewitching improvisations on fairy tales” are “spellbinding” (Booklist, starred review).

Jean Thompson—author of the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love and the New York Times bestseller The Year We Left Home—is a writer at the height of her powers. Capturing the magic and horror in everyday life, Thompson revisits beloved fables that represent our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longings for good to triumph over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). From the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” to the beauty asleep in her castle, The Witch and Other Tales Retold triumphantly brings the fairy tale into the modern age.

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Book: It's the Disney Version!: Popular Cinema and Literary Classics

(US and UK Links)

It's the Disney Version!: Popular Cinema and Literary Classics by Douglas Brode (Editor) and Shea T. Brode (Editor) was released over the summer and I'm playing catch up this week.

I haven't read this one yet, but the brief skim of the intro leads me to believe it is more Disney apologist in tone than some might like, but I appreciated the arguments that were more pro-Disney--namely that Disney didn't create its fairy tale films out of a vacuum, but drew from other contemporary adaptations from stage and elsewhere, too. Examples and footnotes are provided, too, so this one intrigues me for the fairy tale adaptation discussions especially.

Book description:

In 1937, the first full-length animated film produced by Walt Disney was released. Based on a fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was an instant success and set the stage for more film adaptations over the next several decades. From animated features like and Bambi to live action films such as Mary Poppins, Disney repeatedly turned to literary sources for inspiration—a tradition the Disney studios continues well into the twenty-first century.

In It’s the Disney Version!: Popular Cinema and Literary Classics, Douglas Brode and Shea T. Brode have collected essays that consider the relationship between a Disney film and the source material from which it was drawn. Analytic yet accessible, these essays provide a wide-ranging study of the term “The Disney Version” and what it conveys to viewers. Among the works discussed in this volume are Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Pinocchio,Sleeping Beauty, Tarzan, and Winnie the Pooh.

In these intriguing essays, contributors to this volume offer close textual analyses of both the original work and of the Disney counterpart. Featuring articles that consider both positive and negative elements that can be found in the studio’s output, It’s the Disney Version!: Popular Cinema and Literary Classics will be of interest to scholars and students of film, as well as the diehard Disney fan.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Books Week and Fairy Tales

Hello all, I am still busily trying to get life back to a semblance of normal but I cannot let Banned Books Week pass without some recognition here at SurLaLune. This is my post for Banned Books Week from 4 years ago to share you:

Today starts Banned Books Week: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Freedom to Read. There's always books we'd prefer not to read ourselves but taking the right away from others is a slippery, dangerous slope. And it's pertinent here at the blog because several fairy tales have been banned over the years, from the Grimms in general to tales in particular like Little Red Riding Hood--for having wine in her basket! Nevermind the more gruesome tales that are ignored by banners because they aren't as prominent.

During my years as a public librarian in California, I only had one book challenged by a patron and ironically it was fairy tale related. Only my coworkers knew about SurLaLune, so this was not related. I was quite simply the children's and YA librarian and had added the book to the collection.

What was the book? The Rose and The Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block. Now this book is not light reading and deals with difficult themes. I wouldn't recommend it to every teen I know but it was sitting on the shelf next to the Gossip Girls series among others. My first reaction was total shock. Fortunately, I kept my guffaw muffled when I realized which book was upsetting the patron in the YA section. And refrained from saying, "You think this is rough, try this (fill in the blank several times)." I didn't handle the situation very well--it was a strange day and a strange incident--but it was well enough that the complaint went no farther for which I have always been thankful.

Anyway, read a fairy tale this week and you'll be celebrating Banned Books Week! And thank the librarians who fight to keep the books on the shelves where you can find them. It's not an easy job, emotionally or financially!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Baltimore,: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Baltimore,: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden is on sale in digital format for $1.99.

Book description:

From celebrated comic artist Mike Mignola and award-winning novelist Christopher Golden comes a work of gothic storytelling like no other. Reminiscent of the illustrated tales of old, here is a lyrical, atmospheric novel of the paranormal—and a chilling allegory for the nature of war.

“Why do dead men rise up to torment the living?” Captain Henry Baltimore asks the malevolent winged creature. The vampire shakes its head. “It was you called us. All of you, with your war. The roar of your cannons shook us from our quiet graves…. You killers. You berserkers…. You will never be rid of us now.”

When Lord Henry Baltimore awakens the wrath of a vampire on the hellish battlefields of World War I, the world is forever changed. For a virulent plague has been unleashed—a plague that even death cannot end.

Now the lone soldier in an eternal struggle against darkness, Baltimore summons three old friends to a lonely inn—men whose travels and fantastical experiences incline them to fully believe in the evil that is devouring the soul of mankind.

As the men await their old friend, they share their tales of terror and misadventure, and contemplate what part they will play in Baltimore’s timeless battle. Before the night is through, they will learn what is required to banish the plague—and the creature who named Baltimore his nemesis—once and for all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Deborah J. Brannon, Guest Reviewer: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Hello all, I have a guest review to share today from SurLaLune reader, Deborah J. Brannon. Thanks for sharing with us, Deborah!

Roses and Rot
Author: Kat Howard
Publisher: Saga Press; 1st edition (May 17, 2016)
Print length: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1481451161

Roses and Rot is a knife in the dark, and a comforting embrace after that sudden welling of blood. That sounds melodramatic, but it can’t be - not with this book. Roses and Rot is Kat Howard’s debut novel and it is a paean to survival, to thriving, to fairy tales.

You think you know this story - and maybe you do, but only because you’ve lived it. Two sisters grow up under the cruel ministrations of a manipulative, self-centered mother. The older sister escapes and goes away to school, leaving the younger sister unprotected and alone. They lose each other for seven years, only to find their way back together in a magical, mysterious land: Melete. Melete is a prestigious retreat for artists of every kind. Melete is a Greek Muse and a word that means “contemplation.” Melete is the perfect place for two sisters to find each other again and then to find their own voices and their own successes.

Imogen, the elder sister, is a writer. Marin is a dancer. They both bear deep wounds from the psychological, physical, and emotional abuse inflicted upon them by their mother. Some are obvious; some lurk to be stumbled over later. Melete encompasses the same complexity: a prestigious and intense artists’ retreat on the surface, Melete actually serves as the feeding ground for the Faerie Host. The creative focus and passionate spark of artists sustain the Fae, and each year the most promising Melete Fellow is selected to pay that tithe. They are taken into Faerie for seven years, alone and plumbed for their deepest passions, before being cast back into our world. Their reward is guaranteed success in whatever creative endeavors they pursue.

This is a book about how we help and hurt each other. It’s about the font of creativity, and paying for our choices. It’s about parents failing children, and people finding ways in camaraderie to build each other up. It’s about people who want to be less human and creatures who want to be more. It’s about what happens when we fail, and what happens when we don’t.

It’s a thorned rose aching in your throat when you find yourself in its pages - as many of us childhood survivors will.

It’s a story about facing down the tithe, and this is no Tam Lin.

Kat Howard’s Roses and Rot is well worth your time, as she builds compelling characters and weaves an enticing setting in contemporary rural America. She intelligently explores mature themes and the artist’s working life, while still evoking the wonder of creation and salvation of loving friendships. You’ll find her story doesn’t easily let you go. You’ll be drawn back to Melete, back to Imogen and Marin, their friends and enemies, more than once. I’d say I’m sorry - but I’m not.

Deborah J. Brannon

(Deborah received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

III International Seminar on Fairy-tale and Storytelling Therapy 2017

It is with great pleasure that we would like to invite share with you the information about our III Seminar on Fairy-tale and Storytelling Therapy that will be held from 4 till 8 of April 2017 in Sintra, Portugal. It will be another opportunity to bring together specialists, academics, therapists, storytellers and all other enthusiasts of fairy-tale and storytelling, and their therapeutic and healing potential.

And we are most happy to inform that this time the Seminar will be proceded by pre-Seminar workshops which will take place on the 4th of April. Due to its format these workshops have fewer places than the Seminar and the registration is not included in the full Seminar registration. So please check the detailed information regarding each of this workshops.

All the details regarding both the Seminar and the pre-Seminar are available under this link:


It would be lovely if you joined as and let yourself be enchanted by the magical Sintra....

Places for both Seminar and pre-Seminar are limited, so please make sure that you register as soon as possible,

With warmest regards from Portugal,

Adriana Jurczyk Duarte