Read tales – and be happily ever after

“If you want your children to be intelligent . . . read them fairy tales.
“If you want your children to be very intelligent . . . read them more fairy tales”.

That’s a statement that people uninterested in books might not agree with.
Nevertheless, there’s plenty of evidence that children who are read fairy tales by their parents, grandparents or guardians, soon develop a love for books.

They also gain a basic understanding of language, emotions and the difference between right and wrong.

Being ‘read to’ helps them develop skills in reading and writing much faster than children who haven’tbeen ‘read to’.

You may well say, “It’s not rocket science!”

Go ahead. I can’t hear you.

But itdoeshave a scientific connection because the person who made that statement at the top of this article was none other than Albert Einstein – and even people who don’t read books have heard of him.

This time of year, with Halloween just behind us (Hooray for that!) and the pantomime season about to begin, (an even bigger hooray for that!)witches, fairies, mermaids, giants, evil wizards and beautiful princesses are in the ether.

Traditionally, fairy stories and their pantomime adaptations are based around a pretty heroine being rescued by a handsome hero.

Who would question a formula that’s worked for centuries? Actress Keira Knightley, that’s who.

She’s banned her three-year old daughter from watching Disney films in which the heroine is rescued by and eventually marries a prince . . . because “These films are about waiting around for a rich guy to rescue you! No, rescue yourself!”

Frankly, I’m not sure a three-year old would understand such a heavy message and if her mum threatened to throw away her “Cinderella” and “Little Mermaid” DVDs she’d probably have a tantrum.

Then, the only way Keira could get her to sleep would be to read her a fairy tale about a princess and a handsome prince . . .