I bought this , my second copy of this book , as the first one was falling apart after 26 years of heavy use ...
That first copy was purchased when I started primary teacher training , and needed a strategy to fill in if a lesson sped to an end before its allotted time was up . So I read each of the stories out loud at home to the cat , and noted the time taken at the top of the page !
As well as saving my bacon when timings went wrong , I used several of the stories as a basis for plays , humanist assemblies , and simple reassurance : 'Brave Molly' read aloud to a class having a panic due to a loud thunderstorm for instance .
But mostly the tales are just great fun ( albeit some have a clear moral should you wish to notice it ) The Glass Cupboard , The Silly King , Simple Peter's Mirror and The Sea Tiger are often requested by classes who have heard them before , but the absolute favourite , most popular one is The Beast with a Thousand Teeth ( only beaten by 'The Very Slow Ogre' in the companion book ) The children do not tire of these stories , and neither do I : they are cleverly written with wacky humour , great characters and an obvious but lightly worn understanding of the folk tale tradition .
Recently working as a supply teacher I've read some of the favourite stories to hundreds of children , and that original book began to fall apart : it has been passed on to a teaching assistant who I taught when she was 8 years old , and who recalled the stories with affection and wants to read then to her children .
You can't get a better recommendation than that !