Reading 1 - CV 2010

After the online edition of an important newspaper published an article with the title ‘Are Fairy Tales Too Scary For Kids?’, dozens of readers sent in their comments. Read some of them and match the readers with the questions. Write the corresponding letters in the spaces given. You can use each comment only once. Two of the comments are not used. The first one has been done for you as an example.

(6 x 2 = 12marks)

Are Fairy Tales Too Scary For Kids?

A. For goodness sake! These tales have been around for years, I read them as a child, my parents did and my children will. I never once thought that the world was a dark, horrible, immoral place from reading them. Parents that are scared of reading these to their kids are probably also scared to let their kids go anywhere and do anything...Some people need to stop worrying and wrapping their children in cotton wool.

B. And of course going to sleep itself is too dangerous, they might fall out of bed, but getting up they might fall over...why do we bother living at all, isn't it all too dangerous?

C. We forget that kids are tough with each other and tough on the playground. They have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and they love to see evil punished. Fairy tales are a safe place to explore dark themes like death and loss.

D. The real problem with most fairy tales is that they do not depict reality closely enough. As several comments show, the lesson most people seem to be taking from the fairy tales of their youth is that good guys always win and bad guys always get what they deserve. I can assure you my experience in real life hasn’t confirmed this.

E. They think these are scary? Then they should read the originals! Prince Charming's mum was a cannibal. Jack's giant ate his own daughters. I have a book full of these tales, with shocking illustrations, and they are much more fascinating than the current watered-down adaptations

F. What utter nonsense. If you don't like fairy tales, don't read them but don't try spoiling it for all the 'normal' people who enjoy them - and have done since we were two feet tall.

G. I think people forget that children as well as adults get a thrill from being scared, hence the popularity of thrillers and horrors. Fairy tales provide a safe environment for this.

H. I don't like fairy tales! Sorry to be the party pooper! They are very dark, have horrible messages (yes, the heroine gets to win, but the others usually have to suffer/die) and no morals! I much prefer other books. Do you really want your kids to think that Jack or Goldilocks are heroes?

I. Hurray for fairy tales indeed – please don’t give up on them, mums and dads! Luckily for us publishers, children’s appetite for fairy tales shows no sign of diminishing. In fact, lots of today’s most exciting authors and artists are drawing inspiration from traditional stories.

Adapted from


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Which reader…?

0. … says most people don’t dislike getting frightened?

0. G

1. … is glad kids still like fairy tales as much as ever?


2 … says the opposite of what he actually thinks?


3. …thinks children today usually read versions that have been made less frightening?


4. …thinks fairy tales are too different from the real world?


5. …thinks it’s up to each person to decide what to read?


6. …thinks there are parents who protect their children too much?