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Swedish Folk Tales Hardcover – 26 Aug 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books (26 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863154573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863154577
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 21.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Tales of trolls and kings, princesses, magicians and giants are illustrated by the acclaimed Swedish artist, John Bauer. His stylised images seem to suggest the universal ... they are extremely evocative. His use of muted tones means his rare flashes of colour -- bluebells, or a golden-haired princess -- seem to illuminate his dark forest scenes with a magical glow. His big-nosed, good-natured trolls are also a delight (fans of Brian Fround's Dark Crystal will adore them). Adults will enjoy these pictures just as much as children.' -- Dawn Casey, Armadillo, Autumn 2004 'When John Bauer was tragically drowned at the age of only 36, he had already become Sweden's best-known illustrator of children's books. This handsome volume shows why. These stories are remarkably contemporary in their continuing appeal and their attractions were cleverly identified and enhanced by Bauer.' -- Mary Medlicott, School Librarian, Spring 2005 'This is real storytelling. The stories represent a hitherto-neglected tradition of fairy tale, in bright readable English, which the added bonus of Bauer's pictures for those who respond to the strength of his compositions and the humour of his line.' -- Books for Keeps, March 2005 'John Bauer is one of the world's greatest illustrators of fairy tales. His precise and beautiful work has been compared with that of Durer and Holbein. This book will appeal equally to both children and adults.' -- Folk & Fairy Tales: A Book Guide, Booktrust, Winter 2004 'A delightful anthology brimming with trolls, giants, villains and heroines. The stories, which are full of humour, are stunningly illustrated. A book to treasure.' -- Juno: A Natural Approach to Family Life, Autumn 2004 'This superb collection of traditional fairy tales from Sweden is fantastic value, and you'll treasure the book for the illustrations alone. My kids can't get enough of it -- and it's very popular with mum and dad, too. It contains over fifty folk tales of varying length, and the breathtaking pictures are by John Bauer, a high acclaimed artist whose style is reminiscent of Carl Larsson. 'If it's possible, the quality of the stories even outdoes the pictures. Like most folk tales, they work on a number of levels: they are funny and exciting, full of adventure and magic, with clever and resourceful children outwitting cruel, ugly trolls. Having read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, my son considers himself an authority on the ways of trolls, and the current popularity of Tolkien helps make these stories very accessible. 'On a deeper level, the stories deal with psychological dilemmas and conundrums faced by humans since the beginning of time. I'll personally never forget the king who wouldn't allow any other human within two arm's lengths of him, because he believed them all to have vicious claws; until a tiny girl overcomes his fear by insisting on caressing him. 'Swedish Folk Tales would be a fantastic gift for any family. Because they are from Sweden, the stories have the added benefit of being completely new to most British parents -- and to children old enough to read the tales for themselves.' -- Jo Rogers, Families Magazine (www.familiesonline.co.uk) 'These stories are entertaining, well told and have been translated into readable English. The illustrations are excellent, highly imaginative and reminiscent in style to the owrk of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulak. Children between 7 and 11 will enjoy these stories.' -- Peter Heathfield, New View, Spring 2005 'Bauer's characteristic world of lakes, mountains, caves and trees is dark and shadowy, but often broken by bright beams of light. Sometimes the light shines forth from a particular person -- a long-haired princess or a tiny innocent child. Sometimes it radiates from a flying horse or the moon in the sky. But never far away are the trolls, knobbly, clumsy-looking creatures with beady eyes and great fat noses. They are like embodiments of the land itself, knobbly and knotty and gnarled.' -- Mary Medlicott, School Librarian, Spring 2005

About the Author

John Bauer, born in 1882, is a highly acclaimed Swedish artist. Influenced by Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, and by the fantasy work of Arnold Bocklin, he started illustrating fairy stories whilst still a student at the Swedish Royal Academy. His best-known illustrations were for an annual Christmas book for children, Bland Tomtar och Troll (Among Elves and Trolls), which delighted readers with their gentle humour and delicate detail. Bauer died at the age of just 35 when he, his wife and their three-year-old son were drowned when a ferry they were taking to Jonkoping sank in Lake Vattern.

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think many of us had a book similar to this when we were little. Fairy tales full of wicked trolls and brave princesses, evil giants and clever woodcutters. Though these stories tread familiar ground they're not the traditional tales told in Britain. They're a wonderful addition.
Of course, this book wouldn't be complete without the beautiful illustrations by John Bauer, a contemporary of Arthur Rackham and highly respected artist. They alternate between the dark and comic and perfectly add to and enhance the stories.
John Bauer was, I believe, an influence on the wonderful Brian Froud, who has released numerous books of art featuring fairies and goblins.
A great book for reading to yourself or your children.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Capdevila on 3 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommended for anyone interested in illustration, fairy tales, Swedish culture... Best John Bauer's product available that I know of. The tales are delicious and the book is big format, with good quality paper and drawings reproductions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Asa on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my favourite tales from my youth, illustrated by my favourite artist and in English so my British partner can enjoy them too. I cant praise it enough and it arrived quickly! I love it! Buy it if you like old tales about trolls and princesses! Or if you simply like the style of John Bauers dark forests, detailed, charming trolls and golden maids. Its truly a classic and the translations and as good as they get.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my friend's son- his mother was brought up in Sweden, wherein I believe John Bauer's illustration work is well-known and much treasured. My friend's little boy is too young to read it himself (he is about 4 years old), but will enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures and being read to, and hopefully read it himself when he is older.

The illustrations have many familiar elements to them (too many to really go into- a testament partly, I think, to his influence upon traditional children's book illustration and also of the time in which he lived). To be simplistic in my description of them, they are somewhat reminiscent of Arthur Rackham's muted colour palette and sensibilities, but more grotesque- not in a very frightening manner, but 'grotesquerie' to me seems part of Bauer's style. It is also worth noting that it is rightly so, as Swedish fairy tales largely revolve around the doings of mischievous trolls and their interaction with the human world. In my experience many children love a slightly darker tale with creepy strange pictures and will spend a lot of time poring over them, and will return to them time and again.

As I said before, I had bought this book as a present, 'sight unseen'. Once I received it I had a look and quickly became entranced myself- by the illustrations, and by the fascinating stories and cultural inheritance of Sweden. I'm afraid I can't remember much about the stories themselves, but they were well-written, and varied in length from quite short to much longer tales, so could be suitable for a quick read, or daily instalments if reading aloud to children. I loved it so much, that I immediately bought myself a copy too which I spent several nights happily reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Payne on 22 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been reading folk tales for many years, both the adult versions and those aimed at children. I expected at least some of the tales in this book to be familiar - many themes are common across the world, and Sweden isn't that far from the UK. But most of the tales were quite new to me. The style, translations, illustrations - the whole presentation - are absolutely first-rate. If I had to choose one book for reading to an eight-year old girl (as in my case), this would be it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hljod on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am very satisfied with this book, nice outlook, good stories and illustrated with real arts. Also a Good quality book regarding the item.
However note that do not match it with the other book called "Swedish fairy tales" as the 2 books contain exactly the same stories and pictures, only the hardcover and publisher different.
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A Fabulous book that arrived within a couple of days of ordering! I must admit I ordered it as much for myself as for my children to enjoy! Found entirely by chance (a link to Brian Froud stuff I'd been looking at) - I can't believe I had never before heard of the illustrator John Bauer. His work is amazing in style and colour choices - I cannot imagine anyone drawing anything more apt for these wonderful stories of trolls, royalty, adventure and dark forests. The stories made me immediately look for Jim Henson's series The Storyteller. If you admire the work of any of the aforementioned names, or just enjoy a good old-fashioned faerie tale and quirky, almost eerie, but fantastically detailed and atmospheric illustration, then this book is a MUST for your collection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rado on 13 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
if you are looking for something new after all the snow whites and red riding hoods,
swedish folk tales is the right book for you
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