The Wicked Fairy Wife (Mary Alice Downie) pdf, epub, doc

The Wicked Fairy Wife ePub and PDF Available
Another French Canadian folktale retelling by Mary Alice Downie, The Wicked Fairy-Wife: A French-Canadian Folktale is, unfortunately, not a tale that I particularly enjoy reading.I have rated it 3.0 stars, but if half stars were possible, I would likely have rated it 2.5 stars.

One if the main problems I have with this picture book are the illustrations.Especially the depiction of the wicked fairy is simply too ugly and evil looking for my personal tastes, the stuff of nightmares.That is not to say that the illustrations are of inferior quality in any way, they are just not to my liking; I found many of them just too creepy.

Another aspect of the tale I find rather strange (and interesting) is the fact that although this tale is supposedly French Canadian, most of its images do not actually seem very Canadian to me.There is a canoe, and the families consume blueberry wine (blueberries are a commonly harvested berry in Quebec), but most of the images, such as kings, princes, wicked fairies, castles etc. seem more European than Canadian.There is also not really an equal combination of Canadian and European elements, either within the story or the illustrations.If I were to read this tale not knowing that it is, indeed, a French Canadian folktale, I would likely at first not think of it as a French Canadian tale, I would perhaps wrongly assume it to be a classic European folktale.

However, what really does bother me about this tale is the ever present element of sexism.Of course, like in many traditional folk and fairy tales, the wicked fairy is female (that is traditional), but most of the female characters in this story are either ineffectively passive (naive) or nastily evil.For example, the victim of the fairy witch (or rather, one of the victims, as the king is a victim as well), the queen (Josette), is portrayed as beautiful, giving and pious.However, there is also an element of silent blame cast at her, for it is her curiosity which causes the wicked fairy to be released in the first place.There is also no quest, no set of demands for Josette to be able to redeem herself, to liberate her husband from the clutches of his wicked fairy wife.Josette is banished and blinded, but it is not she, but her son (another male character) who finally rescues both his mother and his father, destroying the fairy and her sisters in the process; Josette, though, always remains rather colourless and completely passive, accepting and inactive.

I would recommend this story for those who are interested in reading and collecting French Canadian folk and fairy tales, especially picture books, as there do not seem to be all that many in print.I definitely found the story interesting, but I would not necessarily recommend The Wicked Fairy-Wife: A French-Canadian Folktale as an enjoyable tale to be shared with children.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Kids Can Press
  • File: 4.5 Mb
  • ISBN: 9780919964532
  • Pages 29
  • Rating: 3.7 (1 votes)


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