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When the time came for my daughter to go into her own room, I gave it a whole make over, purchasing toy boxes, wardrobes, drawers, bed and a book case. One major thing was missing...books, she had a few books, but she didn't have the classics that I think every child should grow up with, so I had a browse online and came across a few Usbourne books; 'Hans Christian Andersens Fairy Tales', 'Grimms Fairy Tales', 'Nursery Rhymes' and this one, 'Illustrated Fairy Tales'.
The book is hardback and feels quite padded, it contains ten stories from authors such as, Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and a few others, all retold by various different authors. Every one of these tales is illustrated with cartoon like illustrations on some of them and more contemporary illustrations on others. Some of the tales have been retold with a different twist to them at the end, such as; The Big Bad Wolf in 'Little Red Riding Hood' having his stomach cut open, filled with rocks and sewed back up and inevitably turning into a vegetarian because people would hear him coming with all the rocks in his stomach (Yes this part of the story shocked me to the core when reading it to my then 2 and a half year old daughter, definitely not what I expected from a fairy tale). The book also has a little biography at the back, of The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, along with a mini history of the stories, 'Cinderella' and 'Beauty and the Beast'.
==Stories in the Book==
The Emperor and the Nightingale
Beauty and the Beast
The Dragon Painter
The Frog Prince
The Elves and the Shoemaker
Little Red Riding Hood
The Swan Princess
The Emperor's New Clothes
I purchased this from amazon.co.uk for £7.93, the original R.R.P is £12.99, so it is a good saving and an excellent price for 10 stories.
While not as good as the original Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen tales, I found this book a lot easier to read to my daughter (I've only read 'Little Red Riding Hood' once though), the stories are a nice size and the book is well illustrated. While reading the stories in this book, I rediscovered some stories that I had completely forgotten about from my childhood. My daughters favourite story in this book is 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' , she loves the idea of these cute little elves coming into the shop and making shoes while the shoemaker is asleep, the illustrations in this story are quite cartoon like too so it is visually appealing for her. If you are looking for the original classic tales I would not recommend you buy this book, if you are looking for something a little bit quirky and with a slight modern twist, then this is the book for you. Because I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to fairy tales, and despite my daughter loving the book, I can only give this book 3 out of 5 stars, the little changes in the tales just didn't do it for me at all and if it wasn't easy to read it would probably only get 1 star.