New adaptations and translations

Submitted by madeline on Thu, 05/13/2021 - 09:56 AM PDT

We’ve been busy adapting, translating, and recording public domain stories to add to the Storytime Commons. In case you’re not familiar with U.S. copyright law, most works published before 1926 are now copyright-free and available to freely use and adapt. As you can imagine, stories written almost 100 years ago do not always age well. We enjoy giving stories modern makeovers that your communities can enjoy without cringing at outdated language and ideas!

Here are some stories we added to the Storytime Commons this month:

Snow White: we added this classic fairytale by the Grimm brothers in both English and Spanish (Blancanieves). In this LibraryCall version, the prince does not kiss the princess to bring her back to life. While we modernized the story in many ways, the 1909 version we used did not contain the non-consensual kiss you may remember from the Disney movie. Instead, Snow White’s glass coffin is jolted in transit, which dislodges the bite of poison apple from her throat.

The Boy Who Wanted More Cheese: I found an interesting collection of stories from the Netherlands called Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks. Most of the stories felt too outdated, but I found this particular story delightful. Many of us can relate to wanting more and more cheese! Young Klaas can’t get enough. He is visited at night by fairies who feed him cheese and teach him a lesson about greed.

La leyenda del viento del norte: we now have a Spanish version of The Legend of the North Wind. We noticed several of you have scheduled the English version of this silly story about the tricky North Wind. We hope your communities enjoy it!

The Little Mermaid: this story was challenging to adapt, but our intern Anna Suarez did a terrific job making it come to life for a modern audience. Most of us are familiar with Disney’s snappy Little Mermaid and its award-winning soundtrack. Well, the original story by Hans Christian Andersen is… dark. The mermaid does not get the prince; instead, she turns into sea foam after being cursed by the Sea Witch. Anna stayed true to the original version, but wrote in an uplifting twist. The mermaid may be sea foam, but she will be empowered sea foam. We hope you enjoy it! We will have the Spanish version of this story (La sirenita) available in a few weeks.

Let us know if there are particular stories you would like to see added. If we can find a public domain version to adapt, we’re happy to oblige!