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Fairy tales are magic. They've bewitched generations and managed to accumulate that fluid morphing that is created when a story is told millions of times wrapped in millions of different words.
Grimm's fairy tales contain some of the most well-known stories, and also some of the least well-known; Philip Pullman's beautiful retellings remain largely true to the tales as set out in Grimm, unlike most of our modern versions they allow fairy tales to keep their teeth, claws, and beheadings. If, like me, you grew up knowing without a doubt that Snow White's stepmother was punished with hot irons, and Rapunzel's prince was discovered because of her pregnancy rather than because she was stupid enough to mention how different it was to pull him up rather than the witch, amongst similarly key details that tend to get dropped from the versions told to children, this edition is unlikely to shock you. If you're more used to the fluffy versions, and didn't realise that generations of parents have given them the odd bit of censorship for decorum, then prepare to be surprised. Don't stop kids from reading them though, kids love the darker side of things!
I also like that Pullman has chosen to include some less well-known stories like The Three Snake Leaves and the magnificent story of Faithful Johannes, it's just a shame that this is not a complete compilation of Grimm's tales, though I understand that that would probably be a lot more work.
The origin notes at the end of each story are both helpful and interesting, though occasionally they do go off at a tangent slightly. The origin notes also include details of if and where Pullman has deviated significantly from the original Grimm version.
This is definitely an enjoyable collection and allows the magic of a tale told and re-told to flow throughout.