Imagine a world with magic. Now imagine this place is home to everything and everyone you were told wasn’t “real.” Imagine it has fairies and witches, mermaids and unicorns, giants and dragons, and trolls and goblins.  Imagine they live in places like enchanted forests, gingerbread houses, underwater kingdoms, or castles in the sky.

Personally, I know such a place exists because it’s where I’m from. This magical world is not as distant as you think.  In fact, you’ve been there many times before. You travel there whenever you hear the words “Once upon a time.” It’s another realm, where all your favorite fairy-tale and nursery-rhyme characters live. In your world, we call it the Land of Stories.

For those of you familiar with fairy tales, I’m known as the Fairy Godmother. I’m best remembered for transforming Cinderella’s raggedy clothes into a beautiful gown for the prince’s ball—but I won’t give anything else away in case you haven’t read it. You’ll be delighted to see it’s the first story in this treasury.

I understand this all may come as a bit of a surprise. It’s not every day you learn that a place like the Land of Stories exists outside one’s imagination. Although it shouldn’t be that shocking if you think about it: After all, if fiction is inspired by mythology, and myths are just embellished legends, and legends are exaggerated history, then all stories must have an element of truth to them. And I can assure you that the fairy-tale world is as real as the book you’re holding in your hands.

You’re probably wondering how the stories of the fairy-tale world became so prevalent in your world. Allow me to explain, for I am entirely to blame.

Many centuries ago, I discovered your world by accident. After a long and wonderful career of helping people (like Cinderella) achieve their dreams, I was only eager to do more. So one day I closed my eyes, waved my magic wand, and said, “I wish to go someplace where people need me the most.” When I opened my eyes, I was no longer in the Land of Stories.

When I first arrived, your world was enduring a time known as the Dark Ages, and there couldn’t be a better description. It was a period consumed with poverty, plague, and war. People were suffering and starving, and they were very doubtful that conditions would get any better.

I did what I could to help the people I met: I treated the sick, I fed the hungry, and I even tried to stop the violence throughout the land. Unfortunately, nothing I did prevented the disease and destitution from spreading.

However, it wasn’t interaction your world needed; it was inspiration. In a world dominated by ruthless kings and warlords, the ideas of self-worth and self-empowerment were unheard of. So I started telling stories about my world to entertain and raise spirits, especially the poor children’s. Little did I know it would become the greatest contribution of my lifetime.

I told stories about cowards who became heroes, peasants who became powerful, and the lonely who became beloved. The stories taught many lessons, but most important, they taught the world how to dream. The ability to dream was a much-needed introduction to hope, and it spread like a powerful epidemic. Families passed the stories from generation to generation, and over the years I watched their compassion and courage change the world.

I recruited other fairies to help me spread the tales from the Land of Stories around the world, and the stories became known as fairy tales. Over time, we asked writers like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault to publish the stories so they would live on forever.

During that time, I realized how important storytelling is. While philosophy and science help enhance our mind and body, storytelling stimulates our spirit. It broadens our imagination, teaches us valuable lessons, shows us that things are not always as they seem, and encourages us to reach our greatest potential.

With that said, I have a favor to ask of anyone reading this: Become a storyteller! Read to others the fairy tales in this book. Read them stories from another book. If you can, create your own stories to share. When you pass along the art of storytelling to your family and friends, you make the world a better place.

By inspiring someone, you stimulate that person’s creativity; and when someone is gifted with creativity, he or she inherently holds the source of progress and prosperity. Creativity is the simple but powerful ability to make something from nothing, and it just so happens that making something from nothing is also the definition of magic.

Become a storyteller and help us keep fairy tales alive. Even if people don’t believe in it, never let the world forget what magic represents. Wherever there is a storyteller, there will always be hope.

Thank you, and may you all have a happily-ever-after!

With love,

The Fairy Godmother