Snow White crowned nation’s favourite fairy tale while Evil Queen in Snow White beats Maleficent to be named scariest

• Snow White named nation’s favourite fairy tale and the Evil Queen in Snow White named scariest character
• Two thirds of parents do NOT read to their child every night
• 67% of parents believe that today’s tales are “too sanitised” for children

(27th May 2014) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been named the nation’s favourite fairy tale according to new research by tuition provider, Explore Learning.

In a survey to mark the final week to enter the National Young Writers’ Award, Cinderella was named a close second with Jack and the Beanstalk coming third.

When asked who the scariest fairy tale character of all time was, a mere 6% named Sleeping Beauty’s nemesis, Maleficent the most frightening, with the Evil Queen in Snow White being crowned the scariest – followed by the witch in Hansel and Gretal and the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.

The National Young Writers’ Award is a competition aimed at children aged five to 14 where they are asked to write a 500 word story to the theme – ‘fairy tales and fables’. Judged by best-selling author, Liz Pichon, the winning author will be awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris for their whole family and £500 worth of books for their school.

Despite the enduring popularity of fairy tales, 62% of parents revealed they do NOT read to their young children every night while more than two thirds (67%) of parents said they believed that today’s tales are “too sanitised” for children.

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning says: “No matter how old you are, the UK loves a good fairy tale and partly due to the classics being made into blockbuster movies, their popularity has endured through the generations. However, it is worrying to see that parents are not taking quality time out of their day to read a story to their children. Reading to your child instils a love of books from a young age and is a fantastic way to bond with your child before bedtime.”

The research also found that reading is far from a dead hobby with nearly half (47%) of people across the UK reading for pleasure every day. Scotland was named the most literary country with more than half (55%) saying they read daily for fun – compared with 51% in England, 40% in Northern Ireland and 39% in Wales.

Carey Ann says: “It’s uplifting to see that much of us still love to read but what we really need is to get our children excited about it – just as excited about playing games on the iPad or watching TV. The aim of the National Young Writers’ Award is to encourage children to have a go at writing, get their imaginations going and to realise that creating something from nothing is a very special thing to do.”

Three quarters (75%) of parents say their children either never write stories or only do when tasked to by their teachers – while a whopping 96% of parents say that writing stories helps develop their children’s imagination.

The National Young Writers’ Award is a free competition open to children all over the UK who can fill in an entry form via their local Explore Learning centre or online at The closing date is Tuesday 3rd June.
Previous judges of the competition have so far included some of the UK’s most prolific authors, like Cressida Cowell, Alan Durant and Andy Cope – and this year is no different with award winning illustrator and author of the Tom Gates series of books, Liz Pichon taking the mantle. With countless awards for the hugely popular Tom Gates, she is perfectly positioned to review this year’s stories and inspire even more children to put pen to paper and give writing a try.

Liz says: “I’m thrilled to be the judge of this year’s National Young Writers’ Award. Competitions like this are a fantastic way to encourage as many children as possible to put pen to paper and write their OWN stories. I’m really looking forward to reading them so good luck to everyone and have some FUN!”

Explore Learning has 90 centres located across the UK and provides English and maths tuition to children aged five to 14. Each session is tailored to a child’s needs and Explore tutors work with children in a low ratio (1:6 maximum) to create a fun and vibrant atmosphere for learning that has results.

The full list of the nation’s top 10 favourite fairy tales is:
1. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
2. Cinderella
3. Jack & the Beanstalk
4. Beauty & the Beast
5. Sleeping Beauty
6. Hansel & Gretal
7. Little Red Riding Hood
8. Billy Goats Gruff
9. Rapunzel
10. The Little Mermaid

For more information about Explore Learning please visit
Twitter: @exploretutors


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