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The Blue Fairy Book (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – June 1, 1965

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres—these are the companions who will thrill young boys and girls of all lands and all times, as Andrew Lang's phenomenally successful collections of stories have proved. From the day that they were first printed, the Lang fairy tale books of many colors have entertained thousands of boys and girls, as they have also brought pleasure to the many parents who have read these unforgettable classics to their children.
The Blue Fairy Book was the first volume in the series and so it contains some of the best known tales, taken from a variety of sources: not only from Grimm, but exciting adventures by Charles Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy, The Arabian Nights, and other stories from popular traditions. Here in one attractive paperbound volume—with enlarged print—are "Sleeping Beauty," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Beauty and the Beast," "Hansel and Gretel," "Puss in Boots," "Trusty John," "Jack the Giantkiller," "Goldilocks," and many other favorites that have become an indispensable part of our cultural heritage.
All in all, this collection contains 37 stories, all narrated in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang's generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England's foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities makes his collections unmatchable in the English language.  
Unabridged and unaltered republication of first (1891) edition.  

About the Author

Andrew Lang (31 March 1844 – 20 July 1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Dover Children's Classics
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486214370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486214375
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

251 of 252 people found the following review helpful By Inkhorn VINE VOICE on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are new to Lang, it started in 1889 with the blue fairy book, and then a series developed, yellow, crimson, orange, red, and so forth.

The fact that this series has endured to now is a testament to its quality.

As you read, you will discover fairy tales and myths from all over the world, including the well known writers such as Grimm, Andersen, Perrault, and Mme D'Aulnoy.

These are not the politically correct stories you might expect, and I believe you will find them useful whether it's for your own reading pleasure, of for passing on stories to children.

In fact, if you look beyond the surface of the story, there is a cautionary aspect for children who might get lost, and the evil characters they might meet like the wolf in sheep's clothing, or the boy who cried wolf, or the nice person who offers a gift, but is really a wicked queen in disguise.

There may be a young prince who helps a hairy man escape, and the king embarrassed and enraged orders the child to be killed. Naturally the woodsman slaughters an animal instead, and returns those to the king instead as evidence of performance of the deed.

There are stories of boys becoming men, being tested by the princess, and doing great deeds to prove their worth. Some characters are wicked and evil, and so the protagonist has to develop resources of their own to defeat the deceit, trickery, jealousy, ambition, and wickedness of the people they encounter.

I recommend you start with the blue book, because it has most of the best known stories, for example, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots. You can check the contents of each book at mythfolklore, and even read the stories online.
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209 of 213 people found the following review helpful By Mike Christie on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Andrew Lang's series of fairy-tale books are some of the fundamental children's reading of the twentieth and late nineteenth century. The stories are not "original": there's no such thing when they were almost without exception passed down orally; but they are in old, not very modernized tellings.
Many readers who have only seen or read modern, Disney-fied versions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Snow-White will not recognize some of the darker twists in these tales. For example, in Sleeping Beauty, when the Prince wakes the Princess and marries her, the story is by no means over. The Prince's mother is an Ogress, whom his father married for her wealth, and it's suspected that she likes to eat little children; that "whenever she saw little children passing by, she had all the difficulty in the world to avoid falling upon them". The happy couple have two children, named Day and Morning, and the Ogress decides to dine on them one day when the Prince is away. Yes, it still has a happy ending, but Disney it isn't.
The illustrations--8 full page, plus 130 smaller ones--are all from the original 1891 edition. They're black and white woodcuts; very atmospheric, and I think most children will like them.
The only thing that might have to be explained to a child is the occasional use of vocabulary that is no longer current. Most often this is the use of "thee" and "thou"; but a few other words will crop up. However, they're usually inferable from context, and the stories are marvellous entertainment regardless.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Emily J. Morris VINE VOICE on April 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Blue Fairy Book" is amazing. I am planning to collect all of Andrew Lang's color fairy tale books. It has an excellent group of stories from different fairy tale writers, including Perrault, d'Aulnoy, and Grimm. This book was originally printed in the 19th century. It has not been abridged, nor have any of the original pictures been taken out. (Be warned, they're *artistic*) These are the original, unaltered by Disney versions, and contain the nightmarish plots they were meant to have. Anyone who collects fairy tales should have this.
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188 of 208 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Laine on December 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just ordered a number of the Andrew Lang books from Amazon. The Blue Fairy Book arrived yesterday, and I could not have been more disappointed. It came in a very plain blue hardback. I opened it up, and NOWHERE inside is Andrew Lang mentioned, nowhere are any of the illustrations, from either of the two other versions I know. The production quality -- the paper, the binding -- is poor, and the "author" is listed throughout as "Anonymous." The publisher of this book is IndyPublish.com. I don't know the deal, or how they get listed under Andrew Lang, but I recommend that if you want a real Andrew Lang book, don't buy one of the IndyPublish books.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jill Clardy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been reading this book during my volunteer assignment with Learning Ally (formerly Reading for the Blind & Dyslexic). Delving into the classic fairy tales is like rolling back the years to my youth. I went through a phase when I was probably 10-12 years old when I read every fairy tale book I could get my hands on. If this collection was available way back then, I'm sure I would have absorbed the pages... There's a wide range of tales of kings and queens, princesses and princes, fools and ogres and mythical beings. At first I was quite shocked at how violent some of the tales are, and I questioned how suitable they are for children. But then I remember that I read some quite gruesome tales when I was a child and it didn't scar me or turn me into an axe-murderer :) Children do have an ability to separate fantastic fiction from real life. The tales will allow children of all ages (like me) to think creatively and inhabit a magical world - a much better use of any kid's time than video games or television !
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