Buy Cinderella of the Nile
By Marie-Louise Patton
Fairytales have deep cultural roots embedded in human history. From the beginning of time people have shared stories, passing them down from generation to generation. Whether it be orally, through illustrations or the written word, these fairytales have a significance in their telling: leave a mark, make us think and often teach a valuable life lesson. Every culture has their own versions of these classic fairytales and each re-telling of a story offers a unique perspective on the way we experience the world around us, expands our knowledge and improves our cultural diversity. For a child, fairytales provide an accessible and relevant look at the world told in a format that sparks the imagination and provides a form of escapism. Fairytales typically confront a moral dilemma which asks the child to evaluate a situation and ponder the outcome. The act of digesting a fairytale encourages a child to assess and evaluate their own behaviour in relation to the fairytale as well as improving their empathy and critical thinking skills. Fairytales teach important life lessons to a child in a natural, easy way which does not feel like a chore but, instead becomes a fun and memorable experience. The ritual of sharing a fairytale with a child, be it a grandmother telling a grandson or a father sitting down to read to his daughter, even listening to an audio tape in the car on the journey to school creates a special bond between people over a shared experience. Fairytales ignite conversation and send imaginations wild with possibility, even in comparing fairytales heralding from India to a fairytale born in Britain, these differences will encourage discussion amongst children and expand diversity in what they read. The fairytales act as a link between people of different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities who are able to bond over a shared story. Fairytales stem from all different cultures across the world and these stories enable us to come together in times of hardship, political unrest and warfare. Sometimes a fairytale story is just an ideal way to escape and spend time with your friends and loved ones. In an increasingly digital world, reading fairytales not only improves the language and reading skills of a child but also tears them away from their Xbox or iPad to do something that is educational, fun and an can be enjoyed alone or shared with others. Something as simple as being read to by an adult will significantly develop a child’s vocabulary. Reading or listening to fairytales acts as a constant form of education for children as well as being a welcome distraction from the ever increasing amount of time spent on technology. Fairytales kindle feelings of nostalgia, often of happy memories of our childhood’s spent reading books with our parents at bedtime, or dissecting a story with our friends at break time in the play ground. Let’s continue to keep these feelings of happiness alive as we sustain sharing fairytales with our children in the hope they will repeat this ritual and keep the magic of fairytale stories at the forefront of human experience.
- The Telegraph calls Cinderella of the Nile a story of triumph over adversity
- A glimpse of behind the scene; read this interview with the author Beverley Naidoo
- Cinderella of the Nile selected by The Book Seller as a One to Watch
- Introducing the ‘One Story, Many Voices’ series by Tiny Owl publisher Delaram Ghanimifard
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