Dr. Gardner's Fairytales for Today's Children

Modern Solutions to Fairy Tale Problems
Utilizing Traditional Fairy Tale Style


  • Hans and Greta learn to adjust to the presence of their stepmother in their home
  • An ugly duck wins friends through his appealing personality
  • Cinderelma rejects a shallow prince and finds a humbler, more compatible man

The fairy tale has traditionally been one of the most attractive forms of children's literature. Such stories are an extremely effective method of communication and among the most powerful vehicles for attracting the attention of children and transmitting messages to them. Unfortunately, most fairy tales are filled with elements that are unhealthy and maladaptive. Modern psychological theory has enabled us to understand more deeply than ever the nature of the unhealthy elements in these stories. And such knowledge has enabled us, as well, to create stories with more salutary themes.

In this book, Dr. Gardner has substituted healthier themes while retaining the richness of the fairy tale motif. The Princess and the Three Tasks focuses on the chivalric tradition in which the suitor proves his worth and affection by exposing himself to a series of dangers in order to demonstrate his dedication to his beloved. Hans and Greta's problems are not solved in this version by killing the witch and by the stepmother's convenient death. The Ugly Little Duck doesn't discover that he's really a swan-thereby solving all his problems. And Cinderelma is not rescued by a prince or a fairy godmother. In each of Dr. Gardner's versions, the central characters do not resort to magic and/or sadism to resolve their dilemmas. Rather, through their own deliberate efforts, they resolve their problems in a more realistic and adaptive manner. However, the rich imagery and drama of the traditional fairy tale is ever preserved.  The warm appealing illustrations of Al Lowenheim add immensely to the attraction of these tales. In this unique collection Dr. Gardner has provided children (and their parents) with exciting and enriching fairy tales for today's children.

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