Dr. Gardner's Modern Fairy Tales

Healthier Renditions of Traditional Fairy Tale Themes


  • A young dragon learns to use his fire-making ability wisely
  • Mack learns how to get what he really needs without climbing the beanstalk
  • Sir Galalad learns caution and sound judgment to temper his brash courage

In this book, Dr. Gardner provides children with more exciting modern fairy tales. Here are riveting adventures with the allure of traditional fairy tales-without the pathological and maladaptive elements.

Draco the Dragon utilizes the popular fairy tale theme of the fire-breathing dragon for the purpose of dealing with the common problem of hostility expression. The traditional Jack and the Beanstalk is a clear-cut oedipal theme in which Jack satisfies symbolically his oedipal wishes. Mack, Jack's counterpart in the author's Mack and the Beanstalk, has no such luck. He enjoys, however, a more realistic and ultimately more gratifying resolution of his oedipal conflict. In the Adventures of Sir Galalad of King Arthur's Court, Dr. Gardner has taken some well-known themes from Arthurian legend and modified them in ways that are much more salutary. The issues of magic acquisition of power and blind fealty are especially focused upon. The occasional wish that one would have been born somewhere else or have been someone else is probably universal. In The Prince and the Poor Boy such a wish is gratified, but with some significant variations from the traditional tale in which the pauper and the prince gratify their wishes for such a transformation.

Throughout all of the stories the rich imagery of the fairy tale motif is preserved. And the warm illustrations of Alfred Lowenheim add immeasurably to the attraction of the stories.

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