The novel is in a direct line from the storyteller beside the fire, with his listeners gathered around him, who would naturally be doing more 'tell' than 'show'. 'Once upon a time there was...' is pure 'tell'.
A hundred years ago Bram Stoker wrote, ‘The Count…was very courteous and very cheery in his manner’ – today you’d be told to show his courtesy and cheeriness by his speech and actions. And indeed, it's often better to do that. But have we gone too far in this direction? I think perhaps we have. A novel is not a film. Actors will not be fleshing out the written words.