Remember Saturday morning cartoons? We would wake early to catch our favorite shows and start the weekend with fun and fancy. Many parents are looking for a similar time “off” on Saturday morning, but are careful about media content. They want to offer only high quality material to their children. Here's the perfect Sparkle Series for Saturdays, with engaging games, songs, verses and classic stories from around the world.
ABOUT THE STORIES
This is a collection of 13 autumn stories, for the 13 weeks of autumn.
As Summer Closes
This week's stories include a classic folktale from Russia called "Vassilisa the Wise", where the third daughter — considered the silly one — is the one to answer the riddle and win the prize. Also included is a joyful harvest story about a dragon's new friendship with a poor family, and a story called "The Goose who tried to Keep the Summer".
This week's fun includes a story from Burma called "The Frog Maiden" a variation on a beauty and the beast story where a frog maiden wins the love and respect of the Prince, not with her looks but her will. Also included are two stories from Germany: "The Magic Swan" where the youngest son finds fortune with the help of an elderly woman — and "The Clinking Clanking Lowesleaf" where the youngest daughter of a King claims her prince by seeing the truth and resisting temptation.
Jewel in the Rough
This week's fun includes two 'Cinderella' stories: one from Vietnam called "Tam and Cam" where the dirty, hardworking sister is helped by a magical being to win the heart of the Prince. The other story is from England called "Catskin" where a young girl, dressed in a catskin coat, uses her wits and magical gifts to transform into a beautiful and powerful maiden. Also included is a short story about the "Dreamcatcher" and several delightful verses.
This week's fun includes stories about the benefits and challenges that can come from abundance. Clair Dillingham Pierson's "Gentle Harvestmen" story tells of the spider-like insect that is abundant in good cheer and kindness. A Grimm's Fairy Tale, "The Golden Fish" however, shows how abundance is never enough when greed is present, and the well known tale "Magic Pot" tells of a pot that gives as much porridge as you could ever desire — you simply need to know when to stop! Also included are harvest verses from times gone by.
In the Quiet Moments
This week's stories include quiet and wondrous nature tales about confident earthworms from Clair Dillingham Pierson's collection, "Among the Meadow People". Also included is a magical tale from Donegal, Ireland called "Jamie Freel" about a youth who rescues a maiden from the mischievous fairies in his town, and how his loyalty and hard work bring back her voice and guidance — as well as a story from Denmark called "The Grateful Dead" about a kind traveler who lays the unsettled soul of a beggar to rest by giving the body a proper burial, and receives a reward for his kindness.
PARENTS NOTE: Although the title "The Grateful Dead" and the premise may sound scary, it is actually a very common folktale of gratitude and doing-the-right-thing. "Death" and "burial" are presented in a matter-of-fact manner; the bulk of the story follows what happens after the burial, and the great reward that the traveler experiences.
Thinning of the Veils
This week's fun includes several fairy stories. Two are from Wales: "The Old Man and the Fairies" about a trick the fairies play on an old man — and "The Fairies of Caragonin" about how the queen of the fairies defeats a ogress that has plagued a town for years. Also included is a Slav tale called "Kinkach Martinko" in which a maiden outwits a magical fellow with a red cap and wins the treasure.
Whither I Wander
This week's fun includes two tales from Romania. "Stan Bolavan" is about a father's search to find food to feed his one hundred children. His adventure leads him to a wealthy dragon from whom he wins a great reward. The second tale is called, "Mogarzea and his Son", about a giant and his adopted son who wins back his father's stolen soul from the elves. Also included are several wandering verses.
Light and Darkness
This week's fun includes three North American stories: the Ojibwe tale "The Star Maiden" about a young fairy's search for the perfect vantage spot to view both the stars and the people she loves; the Inuit tale, "Chunks of Daylight" about a young boy's search for sunlight; and the Canadian folktale, "The Rabbit and the Moonman" about how the moon came to have spots on its face. Also included is an Indian story called, "Light Makes Prosperity" about how a humble yet clever girl brings prosperity to her poor family by harnessing the power of light.
Help is Near
This week's fun features a single folktale from Russia called "The Three Men of Power" about three brothers who work together to bring back the King's three daughters from the grips of three nasty serpents. Also included are several beautiful autumn verses.
This week's fun centers around a single Russian folktale called "The Stolen Turnips, the Magic Tablecloth, the Sneezing Goat and the Wooden Whistle". Also included are some tasty verses and songs.
This week's fun features two stories about quests into the woods: "The Wood Maiden" a tale about a shepherdess who dances with a mysterious wood maiden and is rewarded with riches, and "The Three Little Men in the Wood" is a Cinderella-style story from Germany about a girl whose generosity and hard work wins the King's hand.
This week's episode features a story from France called "Fairy Gifts" that delights in the different gifts as given to different fairies, and the effects that those gifts have; a story from Czechoslovakia called "The Betrothal Gifts" about a young man who marries a frog only to find that she is a wealthy and beautiful princess (the frog prince but in reverse). Also included is the magical Grimms tale, "Star Money" as well as some lovely Advent verses.
The Longest Night
This week's fun has two transformational stories about heroes of the earth becoming brilliant lights in the sky. The first story comes from America and the Ojibwe people, about how the old husband of a powerful woman becomes the son of the evening star. The second story comes from Romania, about two brothers and how their enduring love for each other transforms them into the morning and evening star.