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The Blue Fairy Book (Dover Children's Classics) Paperback – June 1, 1965
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From the Back Cover
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for my 5 year old niece. She loves the book and finished reading it in two days! But I have yet to find a book I like more than Polish Tales Books (“Three Lamps and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Helen Ronaldo
Hesperus Press Hardback edition: It's hard to find a modern issue of the Blue Fairy Book that is unedited/unabridged and includes ALL the original tales. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The Blue Fairy Book is an anthology of fairy tales where the handsome prince and princess usually find each other. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jane Jones
These are old lovely tales you don't hear often. I read most of them as a child.Published 3 months ago by Elaine Ramon