Why Fairytales and Books are so Important to Children

By Emma Friesen

The transformation and history of fairy tales over the centuries never fails to catch my attention. Over numerous centuries, fairytales have been told to portray values to children that will follow them for all their lives. The Little Mermaid so many know is completely different from the original story. The original story was written by Hans Christian Andersen in Danish and had a sad ending in which Ariel ends up being turned down by the price, and in her grief, she commits suicide and becomes sea foam. The lessons between the original and the modern version are polar-opposites and instill very diverse values. While the original story warns children not to sacrifice everything in their life for an opportunity, the modern version tells kids to go for it and renounce everything and anything they can for a chance at happiness and true love.

However, between The Little Mermaid story with two completely different versions, children still hold on to the inspiring values that were told. The original story was so popular that when the children grew up, they told the story to their children and so on. Due to it being passed on and shaped by every generation, the story transformed into what it is today. The thousand of stories I hold so deeply in my heart all have taught me such wondrous lessons I will keep with me for all of my life, and if I have kids, I will teach them the values those stories brought to me. Another famous story, Harry Potter, taught me to rely on friends because the true ones will stick with me through every challenge I face, and I know I will do the same for them. The Hobbit taught me to trust my inner self and that I should take every opportunity that comes my way even if I feel scared or unsure.

Thirdly, Percy Jackson taught me that there is magic in everyday life, even if I am unable to see it at the time; it also taught me about the past and the beliefs that people used to possess. I knew so much about Greek mythology that at one point I could name every god and goddess and their specialties by heart. The beauty of these amazing stories is that they will live on forever and will be passed on just like The Little Mermaid. Though the meanings may change, fairytales will live on and guide children for generations, and because these stories will live forever, so will everyone who has found beauty and guidance through the stories as well.

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