Are Fairy Tales Important or Outdated?

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Guest Post: Valerie Fentress @FentressValerie

We all know the stories.

Fairy tales and Folk Tales have been the bread and butter of children’s literature for ages. Stories such as Cinderella, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast have been told and retold repeatedly often with outstanding success.

But why do we keep coming back to these stories from eons past? In them are a lot of outdated ideas.

Beauty and the Beast– The Beast held Belle captive and forced her to spend time with him. Many believe Belle’s love for the beast came from seeing his heart, which comes over time in her captivity.

Sleeping Beauty– Briar Rose, the young woman is unconscious when the prince kisses them, which raises up a lot of issues about consent. This is especially relevant now, as conversations surrounding sexual assault and abuse have become more mainstream.

Snow White– features an evil older woman who is jealous of the younger woman’s beauty. This is a harmful stereotype, as it not only reduces the value of women to their appearance only but also perpetuates harmful and ageist stereotypes about older women. (Source)

Despite these flaws, we still read these stories to our kids because they hold simple truths and morals that we want to instill in our children.

Albert Einstein said it best, “if you want to make your children intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Truths and morals are the test of time.

Beauty and the Beast remind us of inner beauty, not outer beauty, which leads to lasting love.

Snow White and Sleeping Beauty both communicate true love conquers all and goodness prevails.

But what is it about fairy tales that are so inspiring, intelligent building, and essential to children?

K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales don’t tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons don’t exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.”

We come back to these stories time and time again, despite their flaws. Fairy Tales connect us to history, teach us lessons, morals, and give us confidence to face our own world.

It is also why I chose the fable of Red Riding Hood to communicate a biblical truth in my book Beneath the Hood.

The original moral of Red Riding Hood is never trust strangers and obey your parents. Which is wise advice for any child, and has been since the 10th century Europe, when the earliest evidences of this folktale can be found. But with Beneath the Hood, I wanted to communicate something more.

Beneath the Hood encourages our kids to have confidence in God’s definition of value, and remembering where our identity is found. Each one of us is on a path in this life. We are all walking towards a goal, but often life is hard and scary. God’s enemy, depicted by the wolves in this tale wants to do everything in his power to distract us and dissuade us from reaching our goal of serving our King of Kings.

But if we remind ourselves of who we are (a loved child fearfully and wonderfully made) and whose we are (an adopted child of God), we can keep our feet firm on the path God has lain out for us and bring Him glory in all things.

This story was born out of my struggle to remember where my identity lies. It took far too long in my life to hold firm to my value and claim as a child of the King.

In the back of the book, I put together a list of verses to help remind both you and your kids that we are Children of the King. We’re given not only a helmet of salvation, but a crown of life.

Happy Reading!


Valerie Fentress writes simple stories filled with biblical truths. Her goal in writing is to encourage and challenge both children and adults to stand firm in God’s truths and relish the love of a good story. Valerie lives in Texas, with her husband and three boys, who challenge her daily to find joy in the chaos. You can find out more about her and her writing over at

Beneath the Hood is a familiar tale woven with biblical truth that even adults struggle to remember.



Valerie, thanks for being our guest!


Congrats to Leica M. and Luci T. for being randomly selected as the two winners in last week’s blog post. Each will receive [(1) a custom jewelry piece as portrayed by jewelry designer Shelby Pearce, Heroine in TRACE OF DOUBT, (2) a personalized hardcover book of TRACE OF DOUBT, and (3), a custom deck of playing cards featuring TRACE OF DOUBT front cover]