Fairy Tales, The
Digital version – browse, print or download
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Anybody who can remember the first appearance in 1968 of Jan Pienkowski’s illustrations for the late Joan Aiken’s folk and fairy tale collections (A Necklace of Raindrops and The Kingdom Under the Sea) can relive the startling visual splendour of those beautiful books in this compilation of four classics from Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. The gentler Perrault version of Cinderella is selected, in which the sisters are not only allowed to keep their eyeballs (pecked out by birds in other versions) but are also fully forgiven. The Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel are taken from Grimm ‘with all the grizzly details left in’.
Walser’s translations preserve the speech rhythms of traditional storytelling, and the text is sumptuously presented in a font which is large, bold and legibly ornate. Pienkowski’s intricate silhouettes of figures and landscapes against dramatic bursts and billows of marbled oil-paint, have lost none of their power. This hardback picture book is robust, visually delightful and excellent value for money. A book you will want to share with readers of all ages. GH