Why Alaskan Fairy Tales?


Last winter, at the Alaska State Literacy Association conference, I presented a slide show to teachers about why we need fairy tales. But, why tell Alaskan fairy tales?

Even if you have not been to Alaska you understand that it is a place like no other. The people are as genuine as any you might meet, they are adventurous people living lives in an extraordinary place. If fairy tales happen once upon a time different from our own in a land far, far away, is that Alaska? Alaska is far, far away to most people and if we set the story in a long ago time, not only is the magic possible, but it is believable. Everyday occurrences in Alaska can seem like pure magic; the sky filling up with dancing colors, the earth shaking you in your sleep, great blue iced glaciers that creep along mountains, wind deserving of names like Willawaw, plants that tower over your head and blister your skin but only when the sun shines, temperatures that drop far below zero, wild animals as curious about you as you are to them, salmon so thick you can walk across their backs, darkness that comes early in the day and stays late in the morning, sunshine that keeps you awake all night, mosquitoes with a ferocity of hornets, light and atmosphere that can create a complete mirage called Fata Morgana…is this the stuff of fairy tales? Improbable events in fairy tales lead to a happy ending and really, don’t we all hope for a little magic in our lives?

Click to see the whole slide show, WHY FAIRY TALES

or just a few slides about WHY ALASKAN FAIRY TALES

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