The Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-06 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 11 user ratings

"Quando criança, este livro me proporcionou, pela primeira vez, uma visão dos contos de fadas diferente da perspectiva family-friendly da Disney. Nas versões originais, mais sangue, mais mortes, mais castigos aos que erram. Sempre fui uma criança curiosa, e essas novidades, apesar de sinceramente me assustarem por vezes, foram apreciadas.
Os dados complementares sobre a cultura dos países de origem de cada conto são também fascinantes. Nada como conhecer as pitadas reais das histórias que habitam nossa imaginação.
Tudo isso, complementado pelas lindas ilustrações, faz desse livro uma preciosidade que pretendo levar pra vida toda.
" said.

"This was an interesting representation of fairy-tales from all over the world. Many stories were themes very familiar to me, but some of those from more exotic lands were entirely new. The story-telling was straightforward, not especially beautiful or eloquent: many of them felt rushed, but I suppose that is to be expected in a compilation like this.

In the margins were provided facts, photos, and trivia that were supposed to place the story in an historical setting and give additional background information; for instance, in the margin of the story "Rapunzel" there was a picture of the "rapunzel" or "rampion" plant, with a description of its culinary uses. Several of the tidbits were fascinating, but overall, most of them were rather random and useless.

It would be a nice book for bedtime reading aloud, since the stories are all short with fairly simple vocabulary. The illustrations were decent, but it seems to me that young ones might be easily distracted by the extra pictures and stuff in the margins.
" said.

"First off, I’m very thankful to Neil Philip for presenting his audience with such a culturally diverse storybook. I think it’s both vital and important, especially for children, that there are representations of different cultures, ethnicities, and in general of people of colour (POC) in the media, including literature. And this fairy tale book does a great job of adding to that, with 52 stories from over 30 different countries. The gorgeous illustrations only strengthen the representation of cultures and POC by having the settings, surroundings, skin colours, clothing, jewellery, make-up – shortly, the entire scene – matching the country and time period of origin.

As for the actual content of the stories: short, concise, and to the point. There’s little use of flowery or elegant language, which makes the texts seem a little simplistic, though at the same time very suitable for short bedtime-story-readings. There’s a lot of room for trivia in the margins of the pages, in which Philip sets apart certain symbols and/or settings that give the story a little bit more imagination. Descriptions are also added to the beautiful illustrations, making clear which moments of the story the drawings are portraying, which can be especially fun for children who are learning how to read.

It’s a great book to read together with children, looking at the pictures, and exploring the trivia and/or explanations. Keep in mind, however, that the stories in this fairy tale book are quite close to the original source material, which might make them a bit gruesome in the eyes of children who grew up on the edited versions suitable for all ages. For example, in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the story actually ends with both Red and grandma getting killed and eaten by the wolf. They aren’t saved by the hunter character. And the story of Bluebeard is also included, which is pretty gruesome in and of itself (with an added illustration of Bluebeard just before the act of cutting his present wife’s head off). Personally, I really enjoyed how close Philip stayed to the source material, and spent both time and trivia on the origins of the stories, but I can see how some stories could be problematic for small children.

As an adult, I really enjoyed reading this book because of several reasons: a) I greatly enjoy fairy tales, b) I’m very much interested in the original versions, and where they hailed from, and c) the culturally diverse stories from all over the world, often with universal themes, were interesting and enlightening. Plus, the illustrations are just lovely, and the trivia were fun (though at times a bit useless) to read.

A recommendation for those who enjoy fairy tales, and are looking for a more accurate, culturally diverse representation that stays close to the source material. Can also easily be used as a bedtime storybook. Three out of five stars for the actual text/writing, and four out of five for the cultural diversity, and the exploration of the fairy tales’ origins.
" said.

"Terrific collection in that 1. historical, geographic, and other contextual information is given, including photos and art by past masters, 2. comparisons are made between different variants of the tales, 3. the whole world is truly represented, not just a token Chinese story as in the 'world' anthologies of my childhood, and 4. there are *lots* of stories; it actually took me several days to read this. I found many tales unfamiliar to me! Any child, any reader, who has a budding scholarly interest in the stories behind the stories will likely love this. " said.

May 2018 New Book:

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