Myths Debunked about Fairy Tales Pt. 2

If you missed part 1, click here.

Myth #3: Fairy Tales are for Girls

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Fairy tales are HEAVILY marketed toward girls in the toy industry, there’s no denying that. But people fail to realize that the fairy tale genre existed eons and eons before television, toys, commercials and merchandising came around. Fairy tales from way back when were not synonymous with pink comforters and party favors; they were stories told to both MALE and FEMALE children. And fairy tales were not ONLY about “girly” things like true love and beauty personified.

Fairy tales often were a child’s first introduction to danger, tragedy, and triumph. Some of the more recent fairy tales are so good they are pegged more as children’s films-like Shrek. But remember Aladdin? What boy didn’t love the idea of envisioning themselves as the muscular hunk who was granted three wishes?

“The Prince and Timberance” is edifying PROOF that fairy tales are not just for girls. In “The Prince and Timberance” the story’s first character is the Prince. The story follows him in all of his princely glory, in his kingdom, and really gets the story going. Timberance, our heroine, is equal parts to this story, another important factor in breaking from the stigma of fairy tales.

“The Prince and Timberance” is truly a story that can be (and should be!) enjoyed by all. Young, old, boy, girl, white, black-there really is NO isolation when it comes to just WHO can enjoy this great, epic (yes, it is!) tale. :)

Myth #4: Fairy Tales promote damaging “happily ever afters” 

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A child’s heart soars when hearing these words at the conclusion of a happy ending, the icing on the cake. It echoes in the brains of children for years. Some of us are cognizant enough of the fact that these words can even be engraved in our  heads and turned into a mindset, a life goal. How many people do you know that have chased their “happily ever afters” only to wind up bitter and jaded?

As many modern parents have picked up on, sometimes children are prey to an ending that doesn’t set them up for the real world.

So is the solution to not have happy endings? Should we see Snow White years later pining away for the single life, or wishing to escape her kids? I wouldn’t say it has to be that extreme.

“The Prince and Timberance” has found a satisfying, authentic, and good-natured way to end the tale on a high-without leaving readers with a false impression that life begins once everything is declared “perfect.’

No fairy tale HAS to end this way, and ours doesn’t. See for yourself.

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All in all, it’s been fun debunking the myths of fairy tales that don’t apply to “The Prince and Timberance.” What are some other things that you think are common to most fairy tales? What do you like or dislike about the genre?

Leave a comment below. As always, thank you for dreaming with us. If you’re interested in purchasing the book, check out our purchase page.

-Najat

#TeamTimberance

Myths Debunked about Fairy Tales pt. 1

Here at Enchanted Roots, we have one thing on the brain: getting “The Prince and Timberance” in the hands of anyone who believes in good literature, and representation in literature, at the same time.

It just so happened that one of our first contributions to the world of children’s literature came in the form of the fairy tale. Interestingly enough, though this is a widely accessible genre, it is one where many stigmas are in place, and The Prince and Timberance stands to benefit from debunking some of the myths that come with the territory.

Myth #1: Fairytales are outdated

Any look on a publisher’s or literary agent’s web site will let you know one thing-fairy tales are “outdated.”

But wait, then what’s all this about?

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The famous Disney princesses can sell anything from band-aids to hours of playtime TODAY. Fairy tales are NOT outdated. They are embedded in today’s culture, and only have a risk of being “outdated” when new life isn’t allowed to be breathed into the genre.

With additions to the famous Disney lineup such as The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Brave, this genre isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Other children’s hits like Rugrats, or Peanuts, or Looney Tunes may come and then see its way into nostalgia, but the characters of fairy tales (up to now monopolized by Disney) definitely take up stock on bookshelves, DVD shelves, AND toy shelves of children today, everywhere.

Myth #2: Men do the saving, while women are forever helpless.

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Because many stories hold the prince responsible for saving the maiden or “damsel in distress” many people believe fairy tales promote the dependence of women on men.

While it is undeniably a pattern, even a genre like fairy tales have changed with the times. Take for recent examples, Disney’s Mulan and Brave.

 

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Add to the list The Prince and Timberance. While our story holds true to many of the fan favorites a fairy tale includes, like a magical spell and true love, in our story, the heroic moment is due thanks to action on Timberance’s part. She actually saves the prince-in more ways than one.

Ours is a story of epic proportions, a dream we can’t shake, and a fairy tale that deserves to come to life not only in book form, but in film. It will be a hallmark for the genre of fairy tales, and a lovely addition to any child’s library.

I can’t wait to hear from more people who have read the story and hear their take on the new tale. What’s stopping you from ordering your copy?

Thanks for dreaming with us!

-Najat

#TeamTimberance

 

What Readers Can Expect

The Prince and Timberance is currently available as a soft-cover book with illustrations. It has a table of contents, three chapters, and accompanying glossary. The book is intended to be read by children ages 8-12, but it’s simplistic and traditional narrative can be read aloud to children of all ages.

Readers are first introduced to the Prince. They find him in a fully formed kingdom where he enjoys princely activities such as going for his morning swim in luxurious waters, hunting with his trusted warriors, and traveling to faraway lands with the queen’s merchants, all with a trusted servant by his side. The action unfolds quickly when he is given a magical gift after a chance meeting with a fading sorcerer. Receiving this gift places him in the path of a most vengeful and powerful sorceress, and causes him unimaginable strife. As is commonplace in fairy tales, a tragedy befalls him-but not without having a few enchanted friends to help ease his pain just a tad.

Next, readers are transported an entire world away where a young girl of African descent lives a humble life. Timberance quickly winds her way into the reader’s hearts, with her own story of abandonment at an early age and estrangement, though she harbors a warm heart and sweet disposition. Her disposition leads her to the extraordinary odds of the prince’s acquaintance, and readers discover two souls bound together by the truest of friendships.

Readers will delight in the noble prince, the charming Timberance, and memorable key players in the tale-including Eena, a powerfully beautiful villain. As the tale unfolds, readers are taken on a ride as they watch the story unfold with triumph over tragedy-tragedy that comes from the kind brought on by spells of evil magic doers, tragedy that can only be overcome by magic of the purest of hearts.

The Prince and Timberance is equal parts thrilling, mysterious, and magical and will surely be a welcome addition to any children’s book lover’s library.

*The story is 71 pages in length, and is encouraged to be read in portions aloud to children who cannot read on their own.

Illustrations are clip-art sized, black and white, and appear on roughly every other page. The glossary is a collection of words that are common but have somewhat of an old world feel to them-words such as “agonize,” “dwell”, “rave” and “woe”-appear with simple explanations to guide the young reader on their journey through the tale.

Visit www.enchantedroots.com to read excerpts, and order your copy today.

Thank you for dreaming with us!

-Najat

#TeamTimberance

Enchanted Roots Celebrates! Britain appoints 1st Black Children’s Laureate

Congratulations to bestselling author, Malorie Blackman!

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On June 4th, it was announced the successful author of the Noughts and Crosses series would serve as the nations Children’s Laureate (CL). This position is chosen by a panel of judges, as well as the previous CL, and includes nominees from every nook and cranny of the reading world-from librarians and authors to educators and booksellers.

This is a huge accomplishment for the world of readers, and a wonderful way to represent readers of every background. While Blackman is a champion for all readers, this achievement must prove especially sweet as she reminisced to the press of her own history as a black child reading literature that often left her feeling “invisible”:

“… I loved reading when I grew up but did feel totally invisible because I couldn’t see myself and my life reflected in the books I was reading. So it’s about making sure every child feels included and have the right to express themselves creatively.” Source

I, for one, applaud Blackman for highlighting the plight of the underrepresented child in children’s literature.

Blackman aims to ensure every child in the country has a library card, among other ambitions to share her love of reading with the youth. I suspect that Blackman’s ambitions will also lead to access to more diverse content as well.

Enchanted Roots salutes Malorie Blackman! We look forward to watching her journey and seeing her sphere of influence.

Thank you for dreaming with us!

-Najat

Clutch, We Hear You! Inspiring Us to Release Our “Inner Issa Rae”!

A pic of Issa Rae, via Clutch magazine.

A pic of Issa Rae, via Clutch magazine.

Imagine, in a time where teenage supernatural book series and love triangles are new authors’ tickets to the best selling charts and subsequent films, trying to describe that you’ve written a fairy tale?

A black one, at that?

Many are interested at the mention of this dream of ours, but I can’t blame them if they aren’t exactly sure about our vision. After all, the fairy tale genre has been pretty much antiquated, especially in book form.

When was the last time a fairy tale was listed as a New York Times bestseller? When has it ever been?

Well, dreams are funny things. They come alongside inspiration, and grab ahold of you, and whether you’re the most down-to-earth type or free spirit, you can’t quite shake them, no matter how hard you try. On top of that, life has a funny way of nudging you along with signs that make it impossible to forget your dreams for long. This very site, with it’s countless articles and discussions or representations, has been one of winks from the universe for me to never forget my dream. And while for twenty years my mother and I have dreamed to bring the fairy tale, The Prince and Timberance, to the world-it wasn’t until I found this site that the final puzzle piece would be added to push me over the edge into entrepreneurship and self-publishing. It was this article that finally did it.

My mother was inspired to write the fairy tale The Prince and Timberance in 1993, just as my sisters and I were in the midst of our Disney movie collection love affair. Popular titles like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were in constant rotation at our home on VHS.

It would take one afternoon of my mother passing by the living room, with a familiar Disney classic playing on the screen in front of her youngest daughter, that would stop her in her tracks. She saw her daughter trying to get her very tightly curled hair to “flip” over her shoulder (something that it could do but only after receiving salon-style treatment first). That daughter happened to be me, and when she asked me about it, I would tell her I was trying to get my hair to move the way Belle’s hair had moved on the screen. While she and I both knew what it was like to be fully engrossed in a fairy tale, she also knew one thing that a child my age couldn’t have possibly articulated at the time; that there would be times when a child whose skin was not fair, or whose hair was not golden or straight, would feel the magical looking glass crack, so to speak.

A mother who’s had that same childhood experience could instantly connect with the layered meaning of that moment. It instantly took her back to the time when she had first started reading fairy tale classics herself as a young girl, and the little “pinch” she felt when she repeatedly read about the whiteness and fairness of the beautiful maiden’s skin in Snow White. While the fact that a mere physical trait was mentioned wasn’t the issue, the difference between who she was as a reader and who she loved in the story was starkly apparent. And that difference was even more pronounced when she found herself searching through book after book for an equally mere mention of a trait that represented something on her own body. It would be the same for every classic tale she searched through…no mention of hair texture, skin color or other discerning trait that ever reflected her own. Ever.

It was in that candid moment decades later of witnessing her own daughter’s awareness of what separated her from the characters in the magical world of fairy tales that one of the first signs of divine inspiration could seep into a busy, working mother’s world.

Imagine if there were a new fairy tale, she thought, true to the classic memes of the genre; that believed enchantment was gracefully sprinkled not only on people whose skin was as white as snow or fair, but also on people whose skin were as rich as the earth, who had hair as soft as cotton, or eyes that shone like the darkest of jewels…

It wouldn’t be soon after she had that idea, that such a story would be imagined by her. The excitement of such a story would shake up her entire world and take her from a busy mother of five who worked part-time into the very complex world of artistry, writing, and storytelling. Before she knew it, a fully fledged story that she was proud of was ready to be shared with her daughters. In fact, not only did she give me a special story but unknowingly, she gave me a lifelong dream-one that I am still working on to this day.

That story introduced me to the world of unsolicited manuscripts, and countless (countless!) rejections from publishers and literary agents. Helping my mother draft letters, I came to know the importance a story like The Prince and Timberance held-it would get people of the African diaspora a seat at the table of fairy tale classics-a seat it deserves. I’ve spent my life witnessing, and now taking the reigns, in one woman’s quest for publication and recognition. The Prince and Timberance, to me, is not just a story nor a dream-it is a project that I have given my life to and finally in 2012-after having graduated but failing to “get my foot in the door” at a major publishing house-decided to do whatever it took to get this story in the hands of readers.

We’ve printed it ourselves. We’re selling it ourselves. And I’m blogging about it at enchantedroots.wordpress.com. We thank Clutch, it’s readers, and it’s thoughtful commentors for inspiring us to release our Inner Issa Rae. It’s been a long time coming.

The Prince and Timberance is a chapter book recommended for ages 8-12, but can be read aloud to children of all ages. Read excerpts, find out where to purchase the book, learn more about the story here.

Thank you for dreaming with us!

“The Prince and Timberance” reading at the 2nd annual MBAZ Mother-Daughter Tea

Hello, Timberance fans!!! This past Saturday, February 9th, was another successful event for us here at Enchanted Roots!

We got to read excerpts and discuss our book in front of an audience nearing 200 at the second annual Miss Black Arizona Mother-Daughter Tea! Here’s a photo of me at the event (I was super excited about the backdrop).

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*Michelle Obama-inspired kitten heels*

This was the first time I spoke in front of a live audience about our book, and our dream of sharing “The Prince and Timberance” with the world. I spoke about how this was a hallmark in our culture, and how for once it featured characters of color in their own original tale-”The Prince and Timberance” is not a remake or a rendition. It is an original work.

Many women came up to me after the talk to wish us well and tell me that what I said spoke to them. That truly made my day.

Aside from speaking at the event, we also set up a table where guests could purchase our book. We loved decorating the table especially for the tea, and my mother had the brilliant idea to add my porcelain doll to the display. The doll’s dress reminds us of the sort of clothes from Timberance’s era. She truly lit up our table (next to the books, of course ;)

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*It was a day when the Arizona sun played peek-a-boo, and during this time, while we were set up by the large windows, it was a little shady*

We sold many copies of the book, making it our highest selling event so far-and it was only our second one! :)

The Miss Black Arizona Scholarship Foundation has done many wonderful things for the community. I once was a contestant in the 2010 Miss pageant, and ever since I have closely followed the organization because it truly touches my heart. It has given back to the community not only through it’s many scholarships (of which I have benefited)  but by the events it holds to bring us all together, like the Mother-Daughter tea.

A special thank you to the director, Jasmine Crowe, and to the assistant directors as well for having me.

We are hoping to book many more events in 2013. Please leave any suggestions of events that you think “The Prince and Timberance” would be welcomed at below!

Purchase your own copy of “The Prince and Timberance” and read more about us at http://www.enchantedroots.com

Thank you for dreaming with us!

-Najat

Sneak Peek #2

Hello,  Timberance fans!! Hopefully by now you’ve placed your order for your own copy of The Prince and Timberance, especially after reading the beginning excerpt here.

As promised, here’s the next sneak peek. When the time comes for the old man to pass the ring on, he remembers the kind prince and decides to leave it to him. His youngest daughter, Eena, is angered that the powerful ring has slipped from her grasp, and here is where the pace of the story picks up….

EXCERPT #2:

Eena had what can only be described as a fit. “It should have been mine!” She screamed. She ranted and raved and smashed or threw nearly everything in her hut. She expected her father to leave the ring with her sister, Aaja. It would have been easy to take the ring from her. Taking it from the prince was another matter entirely. Now, Eena needed a plan–a very good plan.

Eena is one of the many standout characters our story, a villain whose raging temper and evil plans make for an exciting read. In getting to know Eena, we also meet her polar opposite sister, Aaja and we can see the special bond between sisters. There’s none like it on earth, and Aaja and Eena have quite a special relationship. Aaja and Eena are both daughters to a powerful sorcerers, and both are key players in this tale- but that’s where their similarities end.

While Aaja is a much kinder and gentler being, whose heart delights in the magic of everyday nature, Eena is driven by ambition that knows no bounds. She won’t let anyone in her way-not even the prince, who had no idea that owning the ring would change his life forever. Even Aaja’s pure heart won’t save him from the wrath of her sister.

Eena’s striking beauty and magical cunning are almost no match for the prince when she decides that he is the only obstacle in her way. And in true fairy tale fashion, an unforgettable villain is born.

The Prince and Timberance is a chapter book recommended for ages 8-12, but can be read aloud to children of all ages. Read more excerpts like this and order your copy of the book at www.enchantedroots.com.

Thank you for dreaming with us!

-Najat

#TeamTimberance

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