My Favourite Fairytales

My kids love fairy tales. My son, who is nearly 5, especially. My daughter prefers realistic stories about animal life in nature. My son loves the fantasy and bravado of fairy tales. He loves that an amazing miracle or something comedic can happen at any moment.

When my son was two years old he began to love Disney and fairy tales a LOT. I can’t count how many times we watched Cinderella. He would pretend to be the prince that was saving her and it melted my heart. He wants to get to know every blonde girl he sees as a result.

Izzy liked Jasmine from Aladdin because she gets to OWN a TIGER, and to my daughter that is the pinnacle of happiness right there- being besties with a wild animal.

Me? I seemed to gravitate towards Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales. But one of my favourite fairy tales is not an Anderson, but a German fairy tale made famous by The Brothers Grimm. The fairy tale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses. There is their daring spirits to escape their dull castle life when they sneak out every night to dance, as well as the high stakes if their father finds out! Such drama and tension!! The princesses have such vibrant spirits, and such a need to fulfill this joy of life and adventure.  They don’t stop sneaking out to enjoy themselves even when the king threatens to kill any prince who tries, but fails, to find out his daughter’s secret. When I was a kid I always thought, ‘Who can blame them for going every night? I mean, on the way there are forests of silver, gold and diamonds!! Who wouldn’t want to dance under such glittering and majestic forests?’

12 dancing princesses

I was always disappointed when the soldier found out their secret. Every time I felt surprised that the ending hadn’t changed. The girls adventure was over……but as a child I would dream of the continuation of the story. They would free the captured dancing princes from the king’s punishment and dance off with them to a big city to live their lives as free as wild birds.

Maybe my love of the story stemmed from the fact that I lived in a small town where I never felt I belonged, and would have loved to have such a magical escape every night. What a dream!

My kids like the story but don’t love it as I did. Hunter prefers Cinderella or The Princess and the Pea. Izzy loves them all equally- which is to say, not much. Haha.

What was your fave fairy tale as a child? Is it still your favourite?



  • Elena Ruane June 27, 2022 at 15:01

    I am retired and was searching for the title and author of what is “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. I LOVED this book and loved the thought of dancing all night! I still imagine the beautiful canopy of leaves made of silver and gold along the road they traveled, escaping underground.! Unfortunately, I didn’t dwell on what happened to the princes that failed to learn their secret. Thanks for sharing this mutually wonderful book and memories! May you still dance all night! ?


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