Being realistic is not opposed to taking flights of fancy. Which is why fairy stories and fantasy aren't a bad thing for children (or, I dare say, for adults).
C S Lewis: ...what profess to be realistic stories for children are far more likely to deceive them. I never expected the real world to be like the fairy tales. I think that I did expect school to be like the school stories. The fantasies did not deceive me: the school stories did. All stories in which children have adventures and successes which are possible, in the sense that they do not break the laws of nature, but almost infinitely improbable, are in more danger than the fairy tales of raising false expectations.
Which says, more eloquently than I, what I was trying to express in Fairy Tales and myth. And gives some indication of why I much prefer telling kids stories of dragons and wild things, than reading stories of children going to school.
An excellent creative writer, N D Wilson, is quoted by his father (also a writer!) on these things, on Justin Taylor's blog here. Well worth the read. Wilson's Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World is excellent to enjoy in morsels - a lot at one time could leave your head spinning!