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Exploring the land of 'Once Upon a Time'

By Hillary Kline

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

Fairy tales carry wisdom and offer valuable insight on what it means to be human. They encourage kids to listen to their hearts, use their heads and exercise humility. Some believe that the characters -- good, bad and shades of both -- represent different aspects of ourselves.

Even if you don't subscribe to a psychological interpretation, as a practical matter it's useful for kids to learn that brick houses are better than straw, not everyone who looks like Grandma is harmless and nothing ever stays "just right."

If the land of Once Upon a Time has cast a spell on your budding hero or little lady-in-waiting, don't miss an upcoming Worthington Libraries series full of more stories and fun than you can wave a wand at.

Kids are encouraged to come in costume -- think dragons, princesses, ogres, knights and fairies -- for crafts and games and to explore the world of fairy tales during Fairy Tale Fridays.

The first session will feature the fleet-footed Gingerbread Man on Friday, Dec. 13. In addition to hearing different version of the popular fairy tale, kids will play with dough, decorate gingerbread men and race the finished product.

The Three Little Pigs will be the focus of the Jan. 24 installment during which those attending will try their hand at building houses using a variety of materials, making pinwheels and retelling the tale using pigs and wolves they create -- maybe all three pigs will get a happily-ever-after ending in your child's version.

Can you guess which fairy tale will be featured on Feb. 14? A braiding activity is planned and kids will plant herbs and see who can build the tallest tower. If you guessed Rapunzel, the girl with long golden hair, then you were right!

All programs start at 11 a.m. at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St.

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.