Recently the kids and I checked out this book from our church library. What a wonderful find! It is a collection of stories about fairies from names like George MacDonald, Louisa May Alcott, Christina Rosetti, E. Nesbit, and Hans Christian Anderson. There are over 20 stories!
One of the best parts of this book is the afterward "A Message to Parents and Teachers." It explains the rationale of the need for all things "faerie" for children. Fairy stories teach us that "We make...because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker." (J.R.R. Tolkien). Fairy stories give us a vision of what it's like to transcend time and space; they stretch our imaginations up toward heaven! They awaken higher ideals and show us how the little people can triumph if they persevere with patience. "A child may be too young for fairy tales," say the editors of this book, "but he can never be too old for them."
This is one of my very own soapboxes, so you can imagine how overjoyed I was to see an entire afterward devoted to it. Fiction is definitely a very spiritual thing in my book (pardon the pun : ). I love the ideas that come from Waking the Dead by John Eldredge. 1. Fiction shows us that there is more to life than what we see; 2. Fiction show us that there is a great battle or journey taking place; and 3. Fiction shows us that we have a valuable part to play in this battle or journey.
The books that I have read (devoured, really) have shaped my life. Would I have ever started journaling if it had not been for Emily of New Moon (L.M. Montgomery)? Would I have ever wanted to be a teacher had it not been for Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) and Christie (Catherine Marshall)? Where would I get the motivation to fight the evils of fatigue and despair in parenting if not for books likeThe Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) and The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)? How would I even understand the tiniest bit of the timelessness of God without A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L'Engle)?
I could go on, but you get the picture, I am sure! I love fiction, and like the editors of Faerie Gold I believe that fiction is very important part of raising children. So read it, devour it, and live it! And if you're in my neighborhood, check this book out from our church's library!