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The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics) Paperback – June 28, 2001
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
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Top customer reviews
The Happy Prince
The Selfish Giant
The Nightingale and the Rose
The Devoted Friend
The Remarkable Rocket
The stories include a wide variety of characters and settings, but all share a common thread – love, sacrifice, kindness, and the possible dangers of not having them.
On the surface, these may appear as simple fairy tales to a child, but Wilde packed each story with heartfelt meaning. There are tales of true friendship, as seen in The Happy Prince, and false friendship, in The Devoted Friend. The same selfless love and sacrifice that is received with gladness in The Selfish Giant, is sadly spurned in The Nightingale and the Rose. If only the rocket in The Remarkable Rocket had read a few of these tales, his life might have been a great deal happier.
Wilde’s eloquent and poetic writing makes the stories a joy to read out loud. They are an excellent read for any little dreamers or future romantics you may know. However, a word of warning: expect to shed a few tears.
1) The illustrations are as delightful as I remember them. They are best viewed in color with a Kindle Fire, iPad, or equivalent, but even in black and white they sing. Be aware, though, that the full-page color inserts of the original are half-pages in this rendition. They are also crisp, which is not always the case in Kindle editions.
2) Original page numbers are embedded in the text. That can be a little distracting, but it's also sometimes quite amusing.
3) The Table of Contents links are live, which is not always the case in Kindle editions from Gutenberg.
4) Go ahead. Spend the 99 cents for this one. It's well worth it for the illustrations alone.
Some are more accessible than others (for example The Remarkable Rocket went a little above my five year old's head, while they could relate very well to The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant).
The stories do raise some potentially heavy topics for children (for example death, sacrifice, God, poverty...) so I think it's good to be prepared for questions afterwards, as you might end up talking about the stories with your children long after they have finished.
These fairy tales were published before the Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, and before Wilde became a flamboyant center of London society. Some are explicitly Christian. Wilde's wit, insight, and word play are on display, particularly in The Remarkable Rocket, which can be read as a prescient allegory of Wilde's life.