November means for some the time of year when the fog swirls around enchanted castles and brightly coloured toadstools manifest themselves deep in mysterious forests… which innocent children should never visit alone.
So this month, the Paddington Library Readers’ Group felt it was a good time to delve in to the subject of Fairy Tales.
We looked at C. S Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, a story written for children and containing the traditional features of a fairy tale: a land beyond every child’s experience with goblins, a wicked princess and a force for good in the figure of a lion (Aslan). Four siblings enter this land and meet charming animals which take on human attributes. We found the story enthralling and enjoyable.
We also looked at a non-traditional fairy tale which is aimed primarily at adults and is really a collection of ‘edgy’ short stories. The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse, a collection compiled between 1900 – 1933, contains anecdotes of a vengeful dwarf which poisons the princess’ suitor, a lonely man who ends up in a lunatic asylum and a vegetarian who joins an alternative cult and who meets a grisly end. The stories are well written and well translated into English from the original German. If I had my own kids I would not let them read this book! However the tales deserve to be read – by adults. For those of you who are curious, we stock a copy at Paddington Library.
The next meeting is the Christmas one, looking at seasonal books and having a quiz – come along on 16 December!