Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Wicked Parents

My child-like attitude to life is well renowned and, when it doesn't turn into child-ish, one of my happiest traits. I have been an occasional collector of beautiful picture books for years, so I can't describe my enthusiasm when, today, I got the first issue of Great Fairytales in my hands. It is a seven-part series of traditional fables offered by the Guardian from today, 10th, to Friday, 16th October. And if you miss a trip to your local newsagent, you can order them from here

I really like the print campaign by Wieden + Kennedy, featuring Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs, two milestones of children's upbringing.

The stories have been selected by a panel of critics, writers and experts on children's literature {the like of Salman Rushdie, Philip Pullman and Antony Browne}.

(c) Paolo Domeniconi
The content of the future releases hasn't been revealed yet, so I am too curious to see what they have chosen! I really hope my favourite childhood tale, the alledgedly immoral Puss in Boots, is featured!**

What makes this collection attractive is that the stories are grouped into universal topics {love, justice, quests} and commented with an afterword exploring the morals, psychoanalysis and historical reality behind the fiction. 

The first topic is *Wicked Parents*, the nightmare of each and every child, and the text is framed by monochrome illustrations which are undoubtely evocative. The only lowlight is that, being a freeby, they are printed on perishable paper and not bound with a proper cover.

Baby in front row, (c) Sartorialist
UPDATE: I just got my second booklet, and the illustrations by Heisuke Kitazawa are even better than the first issue. Influenced by Japanese manga culture, they are tersed,  tintied with tenuous colours (grey, olive green and antique rose) and vivified by splashes of stylish yellow.

Saturday Wicked Parents (Hansel & Gretel, Snow White and The Tale of the Juniper Tree with an afterword by Hilary Mantel)

Sunday Rags to Riches (Cinderella, The Tinderbox and Mossycoat with an afterword by Philip Pullman)

Monday Love (The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid with an afterwords by AS Byatt)

Tuesday Quests and Riddles (?)

Wednesday Wisdom and Folly (?)

Thursday Justice and Punishment (?)

Friday Beastly Tales (?)

Some of them are to me unknown, so it will be an oppurtunity to catch up. Thirty years later. It's never to late to feel reborn.

** I had an epiphanic moment when Wiki reminded me Puss in Boot's morals: "one stresses the importance of possessing industrie and savoir faire while the other extols the virtues of dress, countenance, and youth to win the heart of a princess".

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