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This book is a must for people interested in Fairy Tales

  • Oct 24, 2010
This book reveals a lot of information. It contains an informative introduction and 26 classic tales from the bothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and others. There is Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and other classics. The editor includes biographies of authors, collectors, and illustrators. She also adds four appendixes; two contain another version of Little Red Riding Hood and The Story of Three Three Bears; and two have many beautiful illustrations.

Beside all of this, there are the many annotations that give the history and psychology behind the tales. For example, does the red in the story of Little Red Riding Hood represent blood, sin, or passion? Did Red Riding Hood bring her grandmother alchohol? Was she a lush? What does this say about the wolf being in her house and bed? What morals are in the tale? Does the story warn children about the dangers of the forest, animals, sinister men? Why was a wolf chosen as the vicious creature? Why not another animal? Why doesn't Red Riding Hood comment upon the wolf's smell, she comments on all the other senses? Does the rescue of Red Riding Hood from the wolf's stomach teach about life after death? Is Sigmund Freud right when he writes that the cutting open of the wolf to rescue Red Riding Hood represents birth? There are 17 color pictures that accompany this tale. They are very thought provoking because the illustrators are communicating ideas to us. The other stories have similar additions.

As mentioned previously, the editor placed another version of this story in the appendix. The first is from the bothers Grimm, the second from Charles Perrault. The later is only two pages long. It states the moral of the tale. Young girls shoud not listen to everyone. There are also tame wolves, but these are more dangerous than the wild ones.

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Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #64
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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Adult/High School-The level of content, commentary, and art in this beautifully designed volume will confound anyone who contends that fairy tales are "just for kids." Tatar presents fresh and appealing translations of 26 traditional stories (primarily European), accompanied by engrossing annotations placed attractively in the wide margins of the large-sized pages. In clear, accessible prose, she links the tales to their original oral traditions and cultural contexts, and discusses the varied interpretations imposed by critics over time and across philosophical and psychological perspectives. Hundreds of high-quality, color reproductions of period illustrations illuminate and enhance Tatar's cogent remarks about the power of illustrators to influence and comment on a story through visual interpretation. The supplemental sections are as fascinating as the main material: biographies of authors, collectors, and illustrators; variant texts of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Bears"; the illustrations of Walter Crane and George Cruikshank; and an extensive bibliography. This book offers multiple pleasures for browsing, pondering, and sharing, and is as good a source for reading aloud as for research.
Starr E. Smith, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10: 0393051633
ISBN-13: 978-0393051636
Author: Maria Tatar
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

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