Seven Fantasy Classics for Children

Curated by Students of ENG 313 Children's Literature and the Invention of Modern Childhood | Winter 2018


What accounts for the persistent power and enchantment of fantastical figures like Cinderella, Alice, Aladdin, and Peter Pan? How have tales about such characters been reworked and reimagined over the years to make them fresh for new audiences in new cultural contexts? Our English 313 class invites you to share with us the magic and charm of seven fantasy classics, stories that have never lost their attraction.

Several of these narratives emerge from oral traditions (Aladdin, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel), while others were inspired by folklore but composed by single authors as literary concoctions (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan). All of these works include figures and motifs that have entered and enriched our common discourse, enabling us to view our world and ourselves anew. Join us as we track the ways that each edition of these tales replays familiar tropes, introduces novel changes to well-known stories, and opens up “a whole new world” for each generation of readers.

Lisa Makman, Department of English Language and Literature