Characters in the Uupcoming Nursery Book
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Does anyone remember any nursery characters that they'd like to see in this series?
Also, how many Jacks are there in nursery books (not talking about Jasper Fforde's books, but the original nusery books)? It's been a while since I've read any. (Not since I read them to my now eleven-year-old sister.)
Jack and the beanstalk
Jack and the candle stick
Jack and the pail of water
How about Mary? I just know about Mary and her garden.
I didn't even think the Jack tales were a series.
I'm assuming there will puns a plenty on the old race between the tortoise and hare.
There is Jackanory - a UK TV program reading stories, much loved, off air for a while but recently re-instated.
Jack Corner -- with his thumb in the pudding?
Jack? and the scissorman - though that's a German one of the Grimms tales style. Don't suck your thumb.
Mary had a little lamb and lots and lots of verses about it.
Some to ponder upon anyway.
As in Jack Spratt. Published so far in the series are The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. Basically, the Nursery Crime series makes up the books that Jack Spratt is in, and will continue to be in. In children's fairy tales, there's not a Jack series that I know of.
I made the list that way to get the basic idea of the fairy tales using his name. Here's another:
Jack Spratt and no fat
I think it would interesting if Jasper Fforde included the story of Sleeping Beauty in one of his Nursery Crime books. A few years ago, I read a really different sort of telling of that story, in which a queen guarded over the body of her dying son entangled in the thorns that blocked the path to the tower. On different sides of the tower were others who were trapted, some dead and others dying, all with someone taking care of them. (Any requests for this story, just ask and I'll look it up.)
Don't forget though there is no requirement that nursery stories are nice. The "original" tales, for example form the brothers Grimm, certainly aren't, and if you think about many of the others, they can also be quite twisted in morality.
Jack Spratt could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
twix the two
they licked the platter clean.
Snow White, Cinderella - wicked queen, evil stepmother ; Sleeping Beauty - sent to live with foster fairies ; Bambi - Mother dies (and most of us are still traumatized by it!) ; Dumbo - where's his dad? ; Aladdin - orphan ; Ariel (Little Mermaid) & Belle (Beauty & The Beast) & Jasmine (Aladdin)- no moms mentioned ; (Finding) Nemo - mother dies ;
Simba (Lion King) - dad dies, son blames self ; Tarzan - orphaned boy adopted by apes, ape father dies
The only one I can think of where the main character and both birth parents are all good characters off the top of my head is Mulan. Granted most of the Disney movies are REALLY loosely based on the actual fairy tales but still you'd think that as a major influence for kids you'd see less tragic family units.
That's who edited the book which contains the story I mentioned. I have four books that Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow edited together.
Also the Fables graphic novels by bill willingham are another fun spin on fairy tale characters.
Another Jack is Jack the Tailor (Giant Killer) - he killed seven in one blow, hehe.
I agree with Readafew that the nuclear family concept dates to much later.
There is a great book by Bruno Bettleheim called The uses of Enchantment that suggests that fairy tales serve an important psychological function for children in separating from their parents and the evil step parent serves as a surrogate for the parent that can be pushed into the oven. He argues it is a safe way for children to deal with agressive feelings toward their parents until they are mature enough to understand their anger. It is a fascinating read.