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Blog Posts by Subject: Mythology and Folktales

Eight YA Retellings of Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding is the story of a girl and a big bad wolf in the woods. Here are some retellings of the classic tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Un-fair-y Tales: Mixed-Up and Irreverent Stories

Many children today are only familiar with the neat and tidy endings to ooey-gooey, sunshine stories. While these types of stories most certainly have their place in childhood, isn't it much more interesting when something unexpected, dark, or silly happens instead?Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Rapunzel

Rapunzel is a german fairy tale about a beautiful young maiden who has been impriosoned in a tower by an evil witch. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Snow White

You know that romantic tale of a young woman who runs away to the woods to escape a wicked Queen. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Fairy Tales With a Twist

These titles give the back story of our favorite fairy tale characters, tell what happens after "happily ever after," or when people from our world are tossed into the fairy tale world. Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Cinderella

You know that romantic tale of the orphaned girl with a cruel stepfamily, who later becomes the belle of the ball and finds true love after fitting into a glass slipper. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Beauty and the Beast

You know that romantic tale of one fair maiden and a prince who has been cursed to look like a beast. The love of the young woman helps to free the prince from the curse and he becomes a handsome young man once again. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Medium Rare: Ghostly Stories from Rare Books

On Halloween, we pull back the curtain between real and unreal, reveling in the spooky, mysterious, and inexplicable. What better way to celebrate the holiday than communing with the spirits and ghosts who reach out to us from the pages of the Rare Book Division?Read More ›

Fairy Tale Villains We Love to Hate-Read

Get ready for the worst of the bad; these villains will make you remember just how Stygian children's stories can be.Read More ›

I Stayed Up Late Reading Cruel Beauty and Why You Should Too

If you want a YA book with demon lovers, fairy tale-Greek mythology mashups, wicked heroines, a castle full of shadowy secrets, and a passionate romance that begins with a murder attempt, look no further.Read More ›

Banned Books Week: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was controversy surrounding The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales. The time was in fact the early 1990s, and the places were California and Arizona. In 1990, a California school district pulled an illustrated edition of Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman (originally called Little Red-Cap in the Brothers Grimm 1812 version) from a first-grade 

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The Influence of Struwwelpeter

Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter from Andy's Early Comics ArchiveStruwwelpeter is a children's book that has been endlessly imitated and retold, while providing the inspiration for countless parodies.

Struwwelpeter, pronounced Strool'vel-pay-ter, is a collection of cruel and frightening stories written and illustrated by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann in 1844. Wanting to buy his three-year son a book for Christmas and dissatisfied with what was available, he wrote his own. His 

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2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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Booktalking "To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion" by Diane Lee Wilson

To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion by Diane Lee Wilson, 2000

In 640 BC, in an ancient Assyrian kingdom, 13-year-old Soulai created horses and other animals out of clay and decorative harnesses. Soulai's father said that he should never have been born, and continues in that vein when 

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Happy Paul Bunyan Day!

By C Jill Reed via Flickr.Since we can't visit all the great statues across the country, In observance of Paul Bunyan Day we're reading about the larger than life lumberjack and his best blue buddy, Babe (and, of course, celebrating anything really 

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Segal and Sendak: A Grimm Collaboration

Earlier this year, the NYPL Manuscripts and Archives division acquired the papers (PDF finding aid) of the acclaimed novelist and children's book author Lore Segal. The collection contains letters and literary manuscripts documenting her life as a Jewish refugee in England during World War II and her subsequent writing and teaching 

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Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: International Books on May 5, 2012

Introduction of Speakers

Elizabeth Bird started the Children's Literary Salon, as usual, with an introduction of the speakers: Constance Vidor, Sharon Elswit, Pnina Moed Kass, and Rebecca Linde. Linde is the director of sponsorship and marketing for the New York International Children's Film Festival. She explained that the program would be started by a presentation on the International Board on 

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"Once Upon a Time" … Reading Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales at the Library

Popular fairy tales are coming back to life in the 21st century to put true love to the test once again in a time travel battle between good versus evil.

Once Upon a Time is a drama filled with adventure and fantasy. Every fairy tale character is linked to another in a parallel, ancient world full of mystery and magic They are all entangled and stuck under a spell in the small town of Storybrooke, Maine, where Regina Mills (the Evil Queen) is the mayor.

Wait a minute... What's going 

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A Secret Commonwealth: The Otherworld in Nonfiction

Most people have experienced brushes with the Otherworld, that liminal place where dimensions overlap and reality shimmers, shivers, and breaks apart: seeing ghosts, dreaming "true" dreams, meeting that strange and uncannily helpful "person" at just the right moment... These situations are more common than we collectively admit — but attitudes are shifting. According to the Institute of Noetic Sciences, "The paranormal is no longer a fringe subject. Need proof? Only 32 percent of Americans report no 

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2012: The Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. In the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is equivalent to the Aries in Western tradition.

January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013 will mark the Year of the Dragon. According to tradition, the dragon is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes loyalty — it is noble, gentle, and intelligent, but also tactless, stubborn, and dogmatic. Those born on 2012, 2000, 1988 or any 

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