October 14, 2013

Get Your Fairy Tale Fix

Note from Jessica: Nikki from BookPairing has guested here before! She specializes in pairing books with wine, food, movies, and more. Today she shares a fairy tale pairing that includes one of my favorite tv shows, yippee! -- but be sure to check out her blog for many different pairings. And don't forget to check out the rest of the Books and Babies guest posts!

Over on BookPairing, I try to come up with complementary reading pairings that deepen the understanding and enjoyment of certain books. Sometimes, however, pairings just fall right into my lap.

ABC's Once Upon a Time and Bill Willingham's Fables was such a pairing. When it comes to fairy tales, of course, certain classics can't be ignored. New ones, however, like Fables and Once Upon a Time are adding a bit of fun to the fairy tale mix.

Fables is a comic's take on fairy tale characters. In it, the characters from fairy tales have been forced out of their homelands and find themselves in a secret community in New York City. Willingham rewrites a lot of the story lines and adds a modern flair. Snow White works in the community government and has divorced Prince Charming. The Beauty and the Beast are attending couple's counseling. The Big Bad Wolf is the community's sheriff.

Story arcs follow the characters as they try to return to the homelands and have some adventures of their own in the modern world. There are murder mysteries, political maneuvering, and romance all involving our loved fairy tale characters. It's definitely an adult take on the fairy tale, but it's a fun way to re-experience them and learn about some not as popular characters.

Once Upon a Time is surprisingly similar to the comic, except that in this series, the banishment is from a curse and the fairy book characters don't know their true identity. It takes Emma Swan, the daughter of Snow White, and her orphaned son to figure it out and try to set the world right again. Unfortunately, they're up against the Evil Queen—the scheming mayor of Storybrooke.

While we know who's who in Fables, part of the fun of Once Upon a Time is figuring out who each of the characters really are. Also, Jiminy Cricket jumps into this world and so, of course, I'm smitten.

If you loved fairy tales growing up, these two series can certainly help you rekindle some of that magic with a modern backdrop. Taken together, it's fun to watch where the two series are similar to each other and where they diverge.

What are your favorite fairy tale adaptations? Have you read or watched either of these?

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