This library exhibition features picture books that reimagine traditional fairy tales and motifs from across the globe. Mixing the fantastic and magical with real world drama and daring, fairy tales touch our deepest emotions. They frighten, comfort, and instruct us. They enchant us to no end. Rooted in the oral traditions of folktale and myth, fairy tales have been retold and rewritten for centuries. Over time, authors and artists changed parts of the stories to reflect the cultures and values of their audiences. Unsurprisingly, contemporary readers may view aspects of traditional tales as outdated. Storytellers return to the age-old tales to question and challenge the stereotypes, ethics, and power structures of earlier versions. It is in our retelling that these tales live on. We twist, tangle, and stretch them. The stories never end.
What to Expect
Books in this exhibition include “fractured” fairy tales that playfully reinterpret tales familiar to American audiences. There are books that reference folktale traditions from across the globe, as well as narratives that remix common fairy tale tropes to create original tales. The books are arranged along shelves in the Reading Library for visitors to explore, read, and discuss. An additional section, “Twice Upon a Time,” features rotating titles from the exhibition alongside other versions of the same story.