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The Happy Prince and Other Tales Hardcover – October 10, 1995


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Series: Everyman's Library Children's Classics
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (October 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679444734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679444732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-A statue of a privileged prince develops a social conscience and a swallow intends to pause just a moment to assist him. Together they conspire to bring a modicum of contentment, financial security, and compassion to the beleaguered poor of a nameless city in northern Europe and both receive their rewards in a heavenly paradise. In this morality tale originally intended for the childlike rather than the child, Wilde addresses issues of social injustice, the loss of innocence, and the redemptive power of love. The otherwise verbatim retelling of the original contains two omissions: reference to Jewish merchants in the ghetto and part of a descriptive passage of life on the Nile that included pygmies and strange religious practices. The watercolor illustrations, varying in size and irregular in shape, are literal extensions of the text. A brief biography of Wilde is appended. Though the winsome swallow and wistful prince have appeal, buy only where literary fairy tales have a ready audience. A more evocative interpretation can be found in Ed Young's version (S & S, 1992).
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'The Puffin Classics series is a perfect marriage of the old and the new. Enjoy some of the best books from the past and find out why and how they inspired some of the best writers of the present. - Julia Ecclesshare, Lovereading4kids' - Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
These fairy tales are wonderful.
Alexandra von Wrede
Each story will become another jewel in your treasure chest of lenses, which help you to see the world more clearly.
Claudius
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the overall design of the book is very good.
J. de Baun

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a child I didn't have the books of Oscar Wilde but rather the records. My imagination soared with his descriptions of life, and my eyes overflowed with tears at each story. The record of the Happy Prince was read by Bing Crosby and Orson Wells and each year at Christmas we still play that old scratched thing, just to hear it's wonderous love story and that of The Selfish Giant. Now I have to get the book so my nieces and nephews will share in my treasures of love!!!! What is this world if it isn't all about Love?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Claudius on October 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I was quite small (I'm now 64) the 33 1/3 records were introduced. One of the first that we got was a recording of "The Happy Prince". It featured Bing Crosby. I listened to it over and over until I went off to college. Years later I was in England, and I discovered that there was a whole book of stories. Over the years I have re-read this book so much that it is now in tatters. Each story is a gem unto itself. Each story will become another jewel in your treasure chest of lenses, which help you to see the world more clearly. Now that I have discovered that this book is still in print, I expect to buy multiple copies to give as Christmas Gifts this year. Do yourself a favor and don't miss these delightful additions to your life. (Psst : I like this book !)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on May 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In these tales, most of them being sad and even very sad, Oscar Wilde looks for a way to save one's soul in front of the misery of the world. Anyone in society who lives in the upper classes does not necessarily see the ugliness and suffering of the world when one looks at the lower classes. But in these tales the Happy Prince, or the Selfish Giant, or any other character will manage to get salvation out of their upper class blindness, by opening their eyes to misery and suffering and by doing what they can to repair these pains and evils because they will realise they have to feel responsible for the world, because they are more powerful and could easily impose their selfish rule. But the giant will discover nature, if not God, punishes him for his selfishness. The nightingale will try to redeem a young student by giving him a red rose in a season when read roses do not bloom. And yet the student will not get the love he wants because he is nothing but a non-entity for the girl he would like to be loved by. There is also a very sad note in A Devoted Friend and how friendship can become a mask for selfishness, a nice appearance for an ugly and egoistic attitude. Those tales are sad and at the same time they convey a moral full of hope. All is not lost if the Happy Prince can give away his happiness for those who suffer, even if later the powerful of his society will reject him when he does not look happy and beautiful any more
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I remember this book from my childhood. I had my parents read each story to me over and over. When I learned how to read I read this book until the pages fell out. In short it is a great book that encourages youthful imaginations. And, it makes for great bedtime stories. A real classic. I bought it for my children.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julie Vognar on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My father read them to me, when I was 4, sitting in the crook of his arm (I know I was 4, because at five, I was too BIG to sit in the crook of his arm, and besides, I could read). He must have read them to me a lot, because I still remember "the cold gray fingers of dawn were clutching at the fading stars," from "The Young King" (my favorite, then), and--in "The Selfish Giant," the words TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED were capitalized, and when he got to them, he'd make me "read" them aloud.
It is thus hard for me to say they aren't children's stories. Some children's stories are frightening; why shouldn't some be sad?

They are lovely, often very sad (though some end happily), socially conscious (Wilde seems to have had a strong sense of being surrounded by the poor --well, London is not a bad place to find them), and often filled with irony--but the kind children can understand. Some make reference to God, and one to Christ, indirectly (though the clergy aren't always so sharp!). Some take us on journeys to strange and foreign places. Some have a rather sophisticated sense of humor (I understood these well enough as a child, but did not like them very much).

It's nice to have them again, in a large-paged (and such white pages!), hardbacked
book. I find the intentionally primitive, brightly-colored illustrations hard to get used to. I expected something more realistic, or even pre-Raphaelite or Art Nouveau. Perhaps others will appreciate them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Avni Sharma on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK CONTAINS MANY STORIES BUT THE BEST IS THE HAPPY PRINCE.ILIKED IT BECAUSE IT'S OF A PRINCE WHO SACRIFICES EVERYTHING TO THE POOR PEOPLE. I THING EVERY CHILD SHOULD READ AND ENJOY THIS BOOK! THANKS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MaryG on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was frankly astonished to read an Oscar Wilde children's story and find that it promotes a rather traditional "moral." Knowing him from his very witty, sometimes risque plays, I wasn't sure what to expect, but not this.
What you get is still witty -- just because it's for kids doesn't mean Wilde has lost his sense of the ridiculous -- but also providing a simple, moving lesson on what it means to be compassionate and giving. I think what works best here is that Wilde never talks down to his readers. He assumes that they're young, not stupid, and I find that refreshing.
The title story "The Happy Prince" is deservedly the most well-known, but all of the tales contained here work in a similar way -- a traditional "lesson" to be learned, but told in a charming voice with a touch of humor and a tug at the heartstrings.
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