* Snow White seems to have fallen by the wayside because the Wicked Witch was deemed too frightening – but a handful won’t read it because they feel the dwarf reference is not PC.
* Rapunzel is considered ‘too dark’ and Cinderella has been dumped because she is forced to do the housework and sit on cinders.
* A third of parents won’t read ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ because she walks alone through woods and finds her grandmother has been eaten by a wolf.
* A fifth of parents don’t like to tell their children about ‘The Gingerbread Man’ as he gets eaten by a fox.
The top ten bedtime stories of 2008: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mr Men, The Gruffalo, Winnie the Pooh, Aliens Love Underpants, Thomas and Friends from The Railway Series, The Wind in the Willows, What a Noisy Pinky Ponk!, Charlie and Lola and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Children face their fears through fairytales, argued Bruno Bettelhim in The Uses of Enchantment.
My daughter insisted on hearing Hansel and Gretel as her bedtime story. She’d wake up with a nightmare — and demand the story the next night. Finally, I created a feminist version: Gretel says, “I refuse to let the witch eat my brother. That’s not OK. I’m going to fight back!” She shoves the witch in the oven and liberates her brother. Eventually, my daughter was able to move on.