33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The art alone makes it a "must-buy"
This is one of the most beautiful books ever printed and a wonderful introduction to the archive of great Victorian and Edwardian illustrated versions of the classic fairy tales. I was a little disappointed with the text, however. Tatar's introduction and annotations are insightful enough, if a little sparing, but her translations of the twenty-six fairy tales...
Published on September 2, 2004 by Steven E. Bradbury
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Handsome Collection Of Timeless Stories
A superbly designed, very reasonably priced hardcover volume of 26 celebrated fairy tales, Maria Tatar's THE ANNOTATED CLASSIC FAIRY TALES takes a somewhat scholarly glance at these familiar short works. For each story, Tartar provides a brief but informative introduction that concisely discusses the genesis of the tale before exploring historical/cultural intricacies of...
Published on August 3, 2003 by cameron-vale
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The art alone makes it a "must-buy",
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)This is one of the most beautiful books ever printed and a wonderful introduction to the archive of great Victorian and Edwardian illustrated versions of the classic fairy tales. I was a little disappointed with the text, however. Tatar's introduction and annotations are insightful enough, if a little sparing, but her translations of the twenty-six fairy tales represented in this volume are surprisingly flat in comparison with the 300 illustrations, many of which are reprinted in full color. It's a pity Tatar didn't use translations from the same period. I know some of these are excessively bowdlerized, but others, such as Lucy Crane's versions from "Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm," are as engaging as the pictures they accompanied. Still, this book is a "must-buy" for anyone interested in fairy tales or the Golden Age of the illustrated picture book. The sumptuous reproductions of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the seven other fairly tale adaptations from the Walter Crane "Toy Book" series alone are worth the cover price.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Child Magic,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)We got this book as an impulse purchase from my Dad when we all [my daughter Emily, Dad and I] were waiting for the restaurant buzzer to go off at the Mall. Emily, age 9, could not wait til we got home, and was entranced by the glorious illustrations all through dinner. We've been sharing the stories in read aloud mode for the past four days--Emily likes to read to me a bit too-- and the old tales we all love like Red Riding Hood and Cinderella come to new life in Prof. Tatar's wonderful translations which seem perfectly suited for reading aloud. Emily has really taken the "moral" parts of these stories to heart, especially after 9/11, and she seems able to see in her own developing way how complex and challenging the world can be. This classic selection of tales has just been a wonderful resource. Somewhere in the introduction Prof. Tatar says these stories were orginally created to help children, and adults, 'navigate' the moral and ethical uncertainties of a changing time, and that is so true, especially if you share this book with a child. It is just a wonderfully created book with beautiful illustrations and stories, a book to treasure. I highly recommend this for all parents who want to share stories with their children.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Delightful,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)I am always fascinated by annotations of classic works because of the insights I gain from them. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales is especially interesting because the works Maria Tatar includes are familiar (at least most of them are) but, her notes reveal, have a much deeper and sometimes darker history than we thought. The book includes some universal favorites like The Emperor's New Clothes and Cinderella and some less known but interesting stories like Molly Whuppie and The Juniper Tree. Each story has a great variety of classic illustrations from masters like Cruikshank and Dore. Another nice touch are the biographies of some of the authors and illustrators included at the end. Whether you are a child, have a child, or are a child at heart, you will love this collection.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding book in the Annotated Classics Series!,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)This is a beautiful book on the magical, scary, enchanting and
wonderful world of the fairy tale! Marie Tatar a Harvard German professor has done a superb job in putting this book together!
The stories range from the classics of the borthers Grimm, Perrault and Hans Christen Anderson. Fairy tales from several cultures are included from Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia
The volume is beautifully illustrated with the illustrations from such giants as Cruikshank, Rackham, Parrish and several others.
This work is a beautiful way to share story time with one's
children or grandchildren. If you are going to buy one book of fairy tales appealing to both children and adults then this is the lavish lifetime volume for you!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the annotated classic fairy tales,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)I found this to be a wonderful book to use with my children and it is a great bargain with all the fabulous illustrations that are included in this work. The illustrations alone are worth the price of the book. I love the variant tellings of the fairy tales and is a great concept to have the children to whom you are reading use their imagination as well. I think I actually enjoy reading this as much as the children.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Beautiful & Insightful!,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)This wonderfully illustrated book has 26 classic fairy tales in it to keep both children and adults captivated from the beginning to the end, although it’s geared more towards adults readers due to the somewhat scholarly tone of the book. There’re well-known stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Little Match Girl”, as well as lesser-known ones such as “Vasilisa the Fair” and “The Juniper Tree”. The format of the book and contents are in such a way that reading is made easy, plus the beautiful illustrations, more often than not, liven up the stories in the book.
The annotations themselves are insightful enough, and there is just so much to be learnt from the deeper meanings and morals of each fairy tale. I am glad Tatar did not just focused on the “good” side of the fairy tales, but also on the darker history and cultural effects of each story.
The book also comes with biographies of authors and illustrators, and the collection of illustrations in the appendix is a nice addition for readers. I wished there were more tales collected in this book though, but generally, this is a very entertaining and enriching book for those interested in learning more about fairy tales, or to share meaningful stories with young children.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Handsome Collection Of Timeless Stories,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)A superbly designed, very reasonably priced hardcover volume of 26 celebrated fairy tales, Maria Tatar's THE ANNOTATED CLASSIC FAIRY TALES takes a somewhat scholarly glance at these familiar short works. For each story, Tartar provides a brief but informative introduction that concisely discusses the genesis of the tale before exploring historical/cultural intricacies of the text, all written in an erudite but easily accessible manner. Many of the stories here are presented in fresh new translations by Tatar herself, sporting numerous lush and beautiful illustrations taken from a variety of sources.
Its a welcome and entertaining volume, but it must be noted that THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT by Bruno Bettelheim examines many of these same tales with far more depth, insight and enthusiasm. Tatar's notes are surprisingly sparse and offer very little real critical analyses of the tales at hand, especially in comparison to such copiously annotated and richly enlightening similar works like THE ANNOTATED MOTHER GOOSE by William & Ceil Baring-Gould or THE ANNOTATED ALICE by Martin Gardner. Nonetheless, this comes highly recommended as a great collection of definitive versions of some of the most beloved fairy tales, accompanied by over 300 often stunning illustrations.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairy tales for the serious student,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)This is probably not the edition of fairy tales you want to curl up with while reading to your three-year-old (primarily because of its measurable heft). This was the version I purchased after reading dozens of fairy tales to my sons and began wondering why these tales have been so enduring -- or, endearing -- over the centuries. Tatar's versions, along with her helpful introductions, helped me greatly understand why these stories have been handed down through the generations. She brings in not only the historical context of several French and German fairy tales, but remains as faithful to the "original" version as possible, given the fact that these were primarily oral stories being told. Of primary value within this volume for me were the numerous original-edition illustrations generously sprinkled throughout. These, as much as Tatar's well-written and researched narrative, helps the reader understand what portions of the fairy tales were emphasized over the years.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY IT FOR THE PICTURES!,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)The text has something to recommend it in that it does give biographies of the collectors of fairy tales and the classic illustrators it uses. However, the reproductions of the pictures are all the size of about 2 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 inches! I own many of them in other illustrated books in a much larger format and the illustrations here are AWFUL! The colors are off and most of them are much too dark. Buy the book for the text if you like, but NOT FOR THE PICTURES.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-illustrated and well-annotated classic fairy tales,
This review is from: The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (Hardcover)Having purchased and read The Annotated Brothers Grimm (The Annotated Books) by Maria Tatar, a well-known scholar in the field of folklore and children's literature, I decided to get some of the other annotated fairy tales. I was impressed by the insights afforded by the annotations in The Annotated Brothers Grimm, and this book too was impressive in that aspect.
Here, Tatar provides new translations of familiar and beloved classic fairy tales which are enhanced not only by the thought-provoking and insightful annotations but also the presence of more than 300 illustrations both in color and B&W by renowned artists such as Gustave Dore, George Cruikshank, Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane, and Maxfield Parrish. The fairy tales contained within this book are:
Little Red Riding Hood
Hansel and Gretel
Beauty and the Beast
The Frog King
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Juniper Tree
Vasilisa the Fair
East of the Sun and West of the Moon
The Story of the Three Little Pigs
Puss in Boots
The Story of the Three Bears
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Little Match Girl
The Princess and the Pea
The Ugly Duckling
The Little Mermaid
The author's annotations are interesting and thought-provoking. For example, in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the act of cutting open the sleeping wolf's belly is annotated. The author writes, "Freud and others read this scene as an allusion to the birth process. The wolf, as the poet Anne Sexton wryly notes, undergoes "a kind of caesarian section." (p. 26). In the story of Cinderella by Perrault, Tatar provides some thoughts on the emphasis on virtue in the story, i.e. that acts of kindness are rewarded, as Cinderella is rewarded with a "happy ever after" life. Tatar attributes this to Perrault's implied audience for the story, i.e. children, and why this emphasis on kind acts is thus important. In my opinion, it is insights such as these that make this work a must-read.
Tatar also provides brief biographies of authors and collectors as well as biographies of illustrators whose works are portrayed in the book. There is also an extensive bibliography on fairy tales (which merit checking out!), a bibliography of illustrations, and suggested journals for further reading such as Children's Literature Association Quarterly and Folklore and Mythology Studies. I would recommend this to anyone who has a keen interest in exploring the underlying themes and cultures of fairy tales.
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The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar (Hardcover - October 14, 2002)