The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales

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I’m a big fan of fairy tales. There’s something about them that just captivates me. Maybe it’s the fact that they were the beginning of children’s stories. It’s especially interesting to see how they transformed to today’s Disney classics.

The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales was an anniversary gift from my fiance a few years ago and I finally sat down and read through the whole thing. It’s not a large book. It’s over 400 pages, but a good chunk of that is the appendix and the words don’t take up the full page.

It includes:

  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Snow White
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Rapunzel
  • The Frog King or Iron Heinrich
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Bluebeard
  • The Juniper Tree
  • Vasilisa the Fair
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon
  • Molly Whuppie
  • The Story of the Three Little Bears
  • Donkeyskin
  • Kate Crackernuts
  • Master Cat or Puss in Boots
  • The Story of the Three Little Pigs
  • Tom Thumb
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Little Mermaid

by different tellers such as Charles Perrault, Joseph Jacobs, Hans Christian Anderson, and, my personal favorite,  Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

What I think I love the best about these stories is they’re not the happy Disney versions. These stories were told to teach children lessons and a lot of the time they were not happy. Stories about wicked stepmothers convincing fathers to abandon their children and evil witches who poisoned or ate children linger in the pages of this collection. But it’s not all written to scare. The majority of the stories have a happy ending where the hero or heroine defeat the evil and live happily ever after. These stories show that although things may not seem perfect right now, it doesn’t mean things can never be perfect.

 

Grade: A

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