The story of the long-haired princess has been a favorite for decades. Few know that Rapunzel is another word for a vegetable called a rampion, which has leaves like lettuce and roots like a radish. The English phrase "let your hair down" may have hailed from the story of this golden-haired maiden. In this tale, a struggling, elderly cobbler is mysteriously aided by magical elves.
In the Harry Potter series, for example, house elves like Dobby pictured look after human wizards and are never seen again once given clothing, just as in the Grimm story. They were linguists, scholars, and researchers of German language and mythology, yet they lived most of their lives as underpaid academics - and likely never realized their work would someday reach world fame.
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While fairy tales like "Rapunzel" and "Snow White" may be familiar, the stories behind the tales may not be. Here are some tales worth a second read.
Traditional Fantasy Picture Books
Explore the gallery below for more German children's classics you can read in English. A giant of German children's lit, Otfried Preussler wrote for kids aged six and up. In "The Robber Hotzenplotz," a man steals a grandma's coffee grinder - and two boys set off to capture him.
This tale also features the wizard Petrosilius Zwackelmann. Say his name aloud - that's the kind of story this is. If the movie "The NeverEnding Story" thrilled you during your youth, you can - like the hero of that tale - immerse in Michael Ende's masterpiece that inspired the film. Following the movie's success, his other works were also translated. In "The Trip to Panama," a bear and a tiger lead a dreamy and lazy life - until a wooden crate comes floating on a nearby river. Intrigued, the bear and tiger set off to find this wonderful smelling country.
Their long and winding quest leads them to the best place on Earth: home. Janosch's imagery and surreal logic charm young and old alike. It also inspired the animated film "Impy's Island. It is told through the eyes of a nine-year-old, Anna, whose family flees Germany just as the Nazis take power.
There is no war in this novel; it hasn't happened yet. But the story remains as relevant today as it ever has been: By the end, Anna and her family are refugees. Heading to Berlin? It'll take you and your children back to the German capital as it was in the late s. Decades later, it was adapted to the Hollywood blockbuster "The Parent Trap. Many kindergartens and primary schools in Germany are named "Max and Moritz" after the prank-pulling duo in Wilhelm Busch's classic book. Note, however, that the book's pranks - and its moral compass - are firmly set in One example spoiler alert!
That's it. The end. No sequel. Another sure way to traumatize your kids is "Struwwelpeter. At least some of the stories are lighter. One involves "Fidgety Philipp," whose dinner table antics spoil every meal. Even years later, his name is used to scold children who can't sit still: "Don't be such a Zappel-Philipp! The "Inkheart" trilogy was published in the midst of the "Harry Potter" hurricane but still went on to become a success. Set in contemporary times, Cornelia Funke's main character in the story, a year-old named Meggie, has the ability to take things out of books and make them come to life.
It's something of a family trick. But it wouldn't be a good story unless that power came at a price. Zamonia is a fictional continent where funny stories happen - and the name of a series by Walter Moers. Is Little Red Riding Hood just a naive little girl? Only in the tale by the German Brothers Grimm. In older versions of the story, she flirts and the wolf seduces her. Here's a look at various Little Red Riding Hoods. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is among the international contributors to Kassel's new museum dedicated to the Brothers Grimm. But don't expect to take your picture with Cinderella at this artsy house.
Dedicated to the lives and fairy tales of the famous Brothers Grimm, the Grimmwelt is a new museum which opens on Friday Whether you'd like to introduce your kids or yourself to German culture, a good place to start is with literature for children. From moralist fables to surreal adventures, here are a few of the country's favorites. While Fridays for Future protests have spotlighted burning climate crisis issues, books that articulate our pressing environmental ills are also transforming popular consciousness about our precarious planet. The Bremen Town Musicians is a universal tale of four neglected, itinerant animals who find work playing music in the harbor city.
A story of the search for dignity, it has long inspired artworks now showing in Bremen.
10% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
Aschenputtel's relationship with her father in this version is ambiguous; Perrault 's version states that the absent father is dominated by his second wife, explaining why he does not prevent the abuse of his daughter. However, the father in this tale plays an active role in several scenes, and it is not explained why he tolerates the mistreatment of his child.
He also describes Aschenputtel as his "first wife's child" and not his own. In some versions, her father plays an active role in the humiliation of his daughter; in others, he is secondary to his new wife, Cinderella's stepmother; in some versions, especially the popular Disney film , Cinderella's father has died and so has Cinderella's mother. Although many variants of Cinderella feature the wicked stepmother, the defining trait of type A is a female persecutor: in Fair, Brown and Trembling and Finette Cendron , the stepmother does not appear at all, and it is the older sisters who confine her to the kitchen.
In other fairy tales featuring the ball, she was driven from home by the persecutions of her father, usually because he wished to marry her. In La Cenerentola , Gioachino Rossini inverted the sex roles: Cenerentola is oppressed by her stepfather. This makes the opera Aarne-Thompson type B.
Folktexts: A library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology, page 1
He also made the economic basis for such hostility unusually clear, in that Don Magnifico wishes to make his own daughters' dowries larger, to attract a grander match, which is impossible if he must provide a third dowry. Folklorists often interpret the hostility between the stepmother and stepdaughter as just such a competition for resources, but seldom does the tale make it clear. The number of balls varies, sometimes one, sometimes two, and sometimes three. The fairy godmother is Perrault's own addition to the tale. Aschenputtel requests her aid by praying at her grave, on which a tree is growing.
Helpful doves roosting in the tree shake down the clothing she needs for the ball. Playwright James Lapine incorporated this motif into the Cinderella plotline of the musical Into the Woods. Giambattista Basile 's Cenerentola combined them; the Cinderella figure, Zezolla, asks her father to commend her to the Dove of Fairies and ask her to send her something, and she receives a tree that will provide her clothing.
In "The Anklet", it's a magical alabaster pot the girl purchased with her own money that brings her the gowns and the anklets she wears to the ball. Gioachino Rossini , having agreed to do an opera based on Cinderella if he could omit all magical elements, wrote La Cenerentola , in which she was aided by Alidoro, a philosopher and formerly the Prince's tutor.
The midnight curfew is also absent in many versions; Cinderella leaves the ball to get home before her stepmother and stepsisters, or she is simply tired. In the Grimms' version, Aschenputtel slips away when she is tired, hiding on her father's estate in a tree, and then the pigeon coop, to elude her pursuers; her father tries to catch her by chopping them down, but she escapes. Furthermore, the gathering need not be a ball; several variants on Cinderella, such as Katie Woodencloak and The Golden Slipper have her attend church.
In the three-ball version, Cinderella keeps a close watch on the time the first two nights and is able to leave without difficulty. However, on the third or only night, she loses track of the time and must flee the castle before her disguise vanishes.
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In her haste, she loses a glass slipper which the prince finds—or else the prince has carefully had her exit tarred, so as to catch her, and the slipper is caught in it. The glass slipper is unique to Charles Perrault 's version and its derivatives; in other versions of the tale it may be made of other materials in the version recorded by the Brothers Grimm , German : Aschenbroedel and Aschenputtel , for instance, it is gold and in still other tellings, it is not a slipper but an anklet, a ring, or a bracelet that gives the prince the key to Cinderella's identity.
In Rossini's opera " La Cenerentola " "Cinderella" , the slipper is replaced by twin bracelets to prove her identity. In the Finnish variant The Wonderful Birch the prince uses tar to gain something every ball, and so has a ring, a circlet, and a pair of slippers. Some interpreters, perhaps troubled by sartorial impracticalities, have suggested that Perrault's "glass slipper" pantoufle de verre had been a "squirrel fur slipper" pantoufle de vair in some unidentified earlier version of the tale, and that Perrault or one of his sources confused the words; however, most scholars believe the glass slipper was a deliberate piece of poetic invention on Perrault's part.
The disguised Cinderella's 'fur slipper' was of unique appeal to the Prince who sought her thereafter through sexual congress a variety of sources including Joan Gould. The translation of the story into cultures with different standards of beauty has left the significance of Cinderella's shoe size unclear, and resulted in the implausibility of Cinderella's feet being of a unique size for no particular reason.
Humorous retellings of the story sometimes use the twist of having the shoes turn out to also fit somebody completely unsuitable, such as an amorous old crone. In Terry Pratchett 's Witches Abroad , the witches accuse another witch of manipulating the events because it was a common shoe size, and she could only ensure that the right woman put it on if she already knew where she was and went straight to her.
In "When the Clock Strikes" from Red As Blood , Tanith Lee had the sorcerous shoe alter shape whenever a woman tried to put it on, so it would not fit. Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters in some versions just the stepsisters and, in some other versions, a stepfather and stepsisters conspire to win the prince's hand for one of them.
In the German telling, the first stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off a toe, but the doves in the hazel tree alert the prince to the blood dripping from the slipper, and he returns the false bride to her mother. The second stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off her heel, but the same doves give her away. In many variants of the tale, the prince is told that Cinderella can not possibly be the one, as she is too dirty and ragged. Often, this is said by the stepmother or stepsisters. In the Grimms' version, both the stepmother and the father urge it.
Cinderella arrives and proves her identity by fitting into the slipper or other item in some cases she has kept the other. In the German version of the story, the evil stepsisters are punished for their deception by having their eyes pecked out by birds. In other versions, they are forgiven, and made ladies-in-waiting with marriages to lesser lords. In The Thousand Nights and A Night , in a tale called "The Anklet",  the stepsisters make a comeback by using twelve magical hairpins to turn the bride into a dove on her wedding night. In The Wonderful Birch , the stepmother, a witch, manages to substitute her daughter for the true bride after she has given birth.
Such tales continue the fairy tale into what is in effect a second episode. In an episode of Jim Henson 's The Storyteller , writer Anthony Minghella merged the old folk tale Donkeyskin also written by Perrault with Cinderella to tell the tale of Sapsorrow , a girl both cursed and blessed by destiny. Many popular new works based on the story feature one step-sister who is not as cruel to Cinderella as the other. Examples are the film Ever After , Cinderella 3 and the Broadway revival.
Folklorists have long studied variants on this tale across cultures. Further morphology studies have continued on this seminal work. In Cinderella was presented at Drury Lane Theatre , London , described as "A new Grand Allegorical Pantomimic Spectacle" though it was very far in style and content from the modern pantomime. However, it included notable clown Joseph Grimaldi playing the part of a servant called Pedro, the antecedant of today's character Buttons. In the traditional pantomime version the opening scene takes place in a forest with a hunt in progress; here Cinderella first meets Prince Charming and his "right-hand man" Dandini , whose name and character come from Gioachino Rossini 's opera La Cenerentola.
Cinderella mistakes Dandini for the Prince and the Prince for Dandini. Her father, Baron Hardup, is under the thumb of his two stepdaughters, the Ugly sisters , and has a servant, Cinderella's friend Buttons. Throughout the pantomime, the Baron is continually harassed by the Broker's Men often named after current politicians for outstanding rent. The Fairy Godmother must magically create a coach from a pumpkin , footmen from mice , a coach driver from a frog , and a beautiful dress from rags for Cinderella to go to the ball.
However, she must return by midnight, as it is then that the spell ceases. Over the decades, hundreds of films have been made that are either direct adaptations from Cinderella or have plots loosely based on the story. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the folk tale. For other uses, see Cinderella disambiguation.
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