We've been reading a lot of old fairy tales from the Brother's Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and others. There are stories of success, sadness, impossibilities, failure, thoughfulness, thoughtlessness, vanity, overcoming, and many more things that we see in our own lives and the lives of those with whom we come in contact.
I am very inclined to believe that the majority of fairy tales that have ever been written have been done so with the intent that we can learn something from them. I think they give us opportunities to talk with our children about important things in life. We can question which characters they would like to emulate. Do they understand that some people may try to deceive them? Do they believe in themselves, in their dreams, in the goodness of others. Do they understand that hard work pays off? Etc. Etc.
No wonder bedtime stories are such an important part of life. Fairy tales are awesome. :)
For your enjoyment, here are a couple of audio recordings by our family. These fairy tales are told in an animated fashion by our family and a couple of friends. Each character in the story has his or her own unique personality and voice.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (Free)
The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids by the Brother's Grimm ($.69)
Put these delightful tellings on your mp3 player, ipod, zune, or whatever you have. It is a great way to entertain kids in the car, at home, or wherever you may be! (Truth be told, it is entertaining for grown-ups too!)
We had so much fun doing these that we will be making more. I'll keep you posted.