Fairy Tale

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A fairy tale is a story, intended for children, that features imaginary, whimsical and wondrous characters such as goblins, ogres, elves, wizards, and even, fairies. The term “fairy” tale seems to state more to the fantastic and magical setting or magical effects within a story. Fairy tales have been around for thousands of years, beginning with oral traditions.  These fictional stories come from all cultures and many have their own forms of well-known tales in the world. Sometimes these tales are thought to have historical truth.  

A fairy tale is a story for children concerning magical events and imaginary creatures. A fairy tale is a magical story for children, like "Cinderella" or "Rumpelstiltskin." If you read a story that begins, "Once upon a time,"  “Long ago,” or “Once there was a …”chances are it's a fairy tale. Fairy tales are usually full of magic spells, talking animals, princesses, evil queens, witches, and goblins. Disney would perhaps not be in business if it weren't for fairy tales. A happy ending is characterized in the standard fairy tale ending phrase, "happily ever after" or "and they lived happily ever after". 

Common characteristics of Fairy Tales are –
    • Magical elements
    • Set in the past
    • Use some form or variation of "Once upon a time"
    • Fantasy or make-believe elements
    • Enchanted setting - can include forests, castles, water or kingdoms
    • Clearly defined good and evil characters
    • Characters take on unusual forms (giants, witches, dwarfs, talking animals)
    • Clearly defined problem
    • Climax and resolution
    • Most often they have a happy ending
    • Teach a lesson that is important to the culture it came from
    • Most importantly, fairy tales do NOT have to include a fairy!



Examples of Fairy Tale

If a story takes place in a magical land, with fantastical creatures that perform wondrous tasks, it is very likely a fairy tale. 

Examples of fairy tales are as follows:
  • Snow White
  • Cinderella
  • Jack and the Bean Stalk
  • Little Red Riding Hood 
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Thumbelina
  • Elves and the Shoemaker
  • Frog-Prince
  • The Gingerbread Man
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears 
  • Hansel and Gretel 
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin 
  • Pinocchio 
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Aladdin
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Rapunzel


Types of Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are categorized by their elements, types, or motifs.

Here are some of the examples of stories that fit the types:


  1. Magic Objects: The Magic Ring, Aladdin
  2. Supernatural Helpers: Cinderella, Puss In Boots
  3. Supernatural Adversaries: Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood
  4. Supernatural or Enchanted Relatives: Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast
  5. Supernatural Power or Knowledge: The White Snake, Ali Baba
  6. Realistic Tales: The Falsely Accused Wife, Ariadne
  7. Religious Tales: The Three Green Twigs, The Flower of Lily-Lo
  8. Tales of Fate: The Robber Bridegroom, Oedipus (Aarne-Thompson)


The Importance of Fairy Tales

From an educational viewpoint, young future readers are learning the basics of the story in a consistent way — plot, setting, characters, rising action, climax, and resolution occur certainly and help children familiarize their minds around the elements of writing. And, understanding these elements will not only help children write but also read. 

Some of the benefits of reading Fairy Tales are :

  • They boost a child's imagination and cultural literacy
  • They teach right from wrong
  • Children develop critical thinking skills
  • They model behaviour for children like problem-solving or emotional intelligence.
  • They can help children deal with emotions themselves
  • And finally, they are great fun!