This is a lovely collection of first fairy tales - where wolves lurk in dark forests and little pigs build houses. Lucy Cousins has a very bright, childlike style of illustration, which works well. The only comment I would make is that grandmothers and piggies are actually eaten. It is not really scary, but this is not a PC book where nobody is hurt and pigs simply run off to the next house when it is blown down. These are based far more on the original stories, before they were made so safe that they barely made sense. If you feel your child can cope with that fine - my three year old had no issue with it.
on 21 September 2010
My 2 and a half year old Grandson loves this book and homes in on it from a pile of books, time and time again. I had borrowed it from the library and subsequently bought it to keep at my house for him because he loves it so. The stories are told in a straight forward way and don't fudge the scary bits. Grandmother from Little Red Riding Hood does get eaten. So do two of Three Little Pigs, and that wolf comes to a painful end himself. You have been warned.
There are eight enduringly favourite stories, and the illustrations are large and bright and many of the pages themselves are brightly coloured.
I have terrific fun reading it to my Grandson (doing all the voices), and he certainly enjoys it time and time and time again. We've even played Billy Goats Gruff to the script in the story - with me, of course, as the ugly troll.
Do buy it - you won't regret it.
Cousins's best-selling series about Maisy the mouse created a world of comforting familiarity, complete with pop-ups of her doing ordinary things like going to the toilet or getting undressed. They are so innocent that it's good to be reminded of just how bold her creator is. Not since Dick Bruna's about Miffy in the 1960s has there been such brio in handling pure colour and shape - derived, like Bruna's, from Matisse. She has a young child's confidence and thick black outlines, but also a sophisticated sense of proportion and design. Her Little Red Riding Hood is all red coat and round apple cheeks, just as the wolf is teeth and trousers. The two-page picture of the Wolf swallowing Grandmother whole, like a shark, is both scary and funny (he has carefully removed her bonnet first) and our heroine suitably dismayed to see him. Perrault's story, with its sly hints as to Red Riding Hood's sexual curiosity before getting into bed with the Wolf is reduced down to its essentials: the question and answer session between child and wolf, followed by retribution, which shows its roots in the Norse legend about Loki's trick on the giant Thyrm. (Those who have a special interest in Perrault should look up an excellent new translation from OUP by Christopher Betts, with the added bonus of illustrations by Gustave Doré.)
This is a gorgeous book, whose smiling animals and shining good humour is a new departure for a talented artist when coupled with a more dynamic narrative style. It will give repeated joy to anyone of 3+. (Amanda Craig, The Times)
on 3 January 2013
My 3 year old son loves this book. We initially borrowed it from the library and because we enjoyed reading it so much, I knew it was going to be a sound investment. The pictures are big, bright and bold which easily grabs your little ones attention. I initially did have a reservation when reading the henny penny story about the animals heads being bitten off but my 3 year old thinks it is hillarious. The classic nursery stories include little red riding hood, The enormous turnip, Three little pigs, Henny penny and Billy goat gruff.. Buy the book you will not be dissapointed