How Fairytale Retellings Promote Critical Thinking : A Guest Post from Author K.M. Robinson

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a good retelling. 

Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, you name it! If a story takes an old classic and twists it into something new and still magic, I am HERE FOR IT.

It may come as no surprise then, that I have made quite a few friends who share the same passion for the retold story. A perfect example of this is my AMAZING friend, K.M. Robinson. I met K.M. a little over a year ago after hearing about her dystopian retelling of (wait for it: ) Goldilocks. (How cool is THAT?!) 

After we connected, I was able to chat more with K.M. and learn all about her authoring, her social media strategies, and all the other phenomenal things she is doing (jury is still out on whether she is in fact, a robot).  Long story short, she’s an amazing writer who is doing some really cool stuff, and today, she has offered to share her insight with us and share one of the reasons she loves retellings, too. 

Are you ready?

Why Retellings Promote Critical Thinking Skills

Have you ever wondered why people love retellings so much? Are retellings really more than just fun stories? Retellings or reimagining of classic tales not only allow reader to revisit classics that they likely grew up loving, but it also promotes important life skills like critical thinking abilities.
Retellings force a perspective change on something we thought we once knew. Fairytales, nursery rhymes, legends, and myths are all things most of us grew up listening too—we know the stories inside and out. But what if we didn’t really know everything we thought we knew? Retellings make us look differently at these tales and change the way we view them and interact with them. We have to reevaluate what we once knew and it makes us open up our minds to the possibility that there could potentially be another view point.
Was Goldilocks really some naive little girl who wandered into a house, set up shop, and then ran away when the owners came home? No! She was actually trained and sent on a deadly mission to destroy the Baers and it was all an act to gain entry into their home and lives. Was Little Miss Muffet just some girl who saw a spider and ran away? Nope…she was a kickin’ cyber punk hacker working to bring down a villain trying to control all the technology in her world until her rival, Spider, comes along and ruins her plans. Did Sleeping Beauty really just fall asleep and wait around for some prince to wake her up? Once again, this fairytale didn’t happen quite the way we were told. She was really trapped inside an advanced level virtual reality game because she was only a few points away from taking over the top spot in the game, and while the heroic guy who plays a prince in the game tries to save her, she can actually fight her own digital dragons. Did the sea witch try to silence the Little Mermaid to keep her from marrying the prince? Truthfully, the sea witch isn’t at all whom you expect, and silencing a human girl who was temporarily transformed into a mermaid is a priority for her because of a very unexpected reason that isn’t totally evil. Jack Frost controls the weather…machine that’s out of control, but can he save everyone? It’s never what you think.
When we open up the realm of new possibilities within classic stories, we show people that no single perspective is the only possible option out there. There’s two sides to every story and when we dive into the flip side of the original, it reminds us to look at things from multiple angles.
Retellings are incredibly important because knowing there are different view points out there allows us to critically evaluate situations, conversations, and stories from more than one view point, and when we do, we might just find that our way isn’t necessarily the only way of seeing things.
Besides, who doesn’t want to see an entirely new, twisty side of stories we’ve always loved?
What’s your favorite retelling and what makes it so twisty and good?

K.M. Robinson is a young adult author, photographer and designer, and professional social media marketing strategist for authors and photographers. She’s been interviewed by Facebook for her innovative work in the field of messenger chatbots and represented the USA in a widely watched live broadcast for World Social Media Day. She is the author of The Golden Trilogy, The Jaded Duology, The Siren Wars Saga, The Legends Chronicles, Virtually Sleeping Beauty and more.

To learn more about K.M. you can visit her on all the social media sites @kmrobinsonbooks, or find her on Amazon where she has a host of fantastic retellings waiting for you to devour. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

JM Sullivan

Retelling Writer. Sparkle Enthusiast. Author. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., visit her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks--she’d love to hear from you!

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