Traditional Fantasy
January 30, 2011
Prepared and presented by:
Michele Marrocco
History of Traditional Fantasy
The first traditional fantasy stories originated
from an oral telling and the author more than
likely was unknown.
These stories contained tales and folklore that
may have involved magic, talking animals or
stories of a time long, long ago.
Traditional fantasy can be a picture book or a
book with little to no pictures.
Characteristics of Fantasy Tales
Character development is lean
Plots are simplistic
Books are generally thematic in nature with kindness,
rewards, good, justice, mercy, etc.
Settings are normally in a distant past such as ‘long,
long ago,….’
Time passes quickly
Types of Fantasy stories:
Folktales: (Cumulative, Why, Beasts,
Humor, Trickster, Realistic and Fairy Tales)
Tall Tales
Epics, ballads and legends
Early to now Fantasy Tales
700 AD
9th century
Why Fantasy?
Fantasy is the ‘mother’ of all other genres since
everything started orally.
Everyone, young and old, wants to escape their reality
at some time or another.
Imaginations are sparked by far away lands and
magical beings.
Creates an understanding that the reader can identify
with universal struggles relating to mankind.
Great pleasure is derived from reading the fantasy
genre by its readers.
Next we have some samples with summaries of classic
traditional fantasy stories……..
Beauty and The Beast
Author/Illustrator: Marianna Mayer/Mercer Mayer
This story depicts true love that comes from within. It
examines the elements of social and cultural censorship. Belle
is strong-willed, independent, and smart. She grows to love
the Beast for his inner beauty. Despite his frightening
appearance, the Beast has a very sensitive side. He displays
this act of self-sacrifice when he risks his life for Belle.
Because she learns to truly love the Beast for his inward
appearance and not his outward appearance, Belle breaks the
evil spell that captured him and he is able to enjoy life with
beautiful Belle.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
Author/Illustrator: John Steptoe
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters is an African tale similar to
the Cinderella story. Mufaro is a happy man who has two
beautiful daughters: one is kind and sweet and the other is
mean and cruel. The king decided that he wanted to get
married so he summoned all the beautiful women who felt
worthy of becoming his queen. Manyara wanted to cheat her
way to the throne. She tried everything to make sure she was
chosen, but Nyasha’s kindness won the heart of the king.
This is a really good book for teaching diversity, hospitality,
and a lesson on honesty.
Little Red Riding Hood
Author/Illustrator: Grimm Brothers/Trina Schart Hyman
Little Red Riding Hood is a classic tale that depicts
the adventure a little girl had with a wolf while
visiting her grandmother. This book encourages early
language skills and it is easy reading material for
young children.
The Three Little Pigs
Author/Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
The mother pig tells her three little pigs to go out and find
new homes. As they journey to complete this task, the pigs are
faced with decisions in reference to the best material to use to
build their houses. Of course the big bad wolf comes along
and destroys two of the houses, but he is unable to destroy
the third house. There is a moral to this story and it reveals
how the third pig acted wisely. This story also encourages
children to be careful and aware of strangers and to act
The Water of Life
Author/Illustrator: Grimm Brothers (retold by Barbara Rogasky)/Trina
Schart Hyman
• Three sons are determined to find a cure for their gravely ill father,
the king. It was told to them that the only thing that would save
their father was the Water of Life, but it is very hard to get. The
two older sons journey to find this Water of Life, they had ulterior
motives: one felt that the father would make him sole heir to his
kingdom and the other felt that if his brother was surely dead the
kingdom would be his. The two older brothers met an elf and were
very mean to him. He could have helped them, but was too proud to
ask or take advice. The third brother responded to the elf with
kindness. Because of this, the elf helped him. As a result, he found
the Water of Life. The elf released the brothers, but he warned the
third brother of their wickedness. The youngest brother endured some
hardships, but he overcame and was rewarded tremendously.
Interesting Facts
• In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm were
responsible for the writing down and preserving the
oral traditions in Germany such as Snow White,
Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel.
Interesting Facts (cont’d)
• Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur and Robin Hood
weren't written with children in mind but children in
the 15th century were fascinated by the stories.
Interesting Facts (cont’d)
• Charles Perrault laid the foundation of the fairy tale
in France. His stories include Little Red Riding
Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots, and
Interesting Facts (cont’d)
• In 1744 John Newberry published A Pretty Little
Pocketbook in England. He sold it with a ball for
boys or a pincushion for girls.
Interesting Facts (cont’d)
• In 1900 L Frank Baum published The Wizard of Oz
in the United States. It has been translated in to 40
different languages and has 13 sequels.
•A Brief History of Fantasy retrieved 1/19/2001 from
•Absolute Astronomy retrieved 1/18/2001 from's_literature
•EAC Faculty retrieved 1/19/2001 from
•Images retrieved from: and
•Norton, D.E. Norton, D. E. (2011). Through the eyes of a child. Pearson Education, Inc. as
Allyn & Bacon, 261-293.

Slide 1