The nineteenth century was the age of nationalism, and there seems to be a classic folktale collection for every national group. The brothers Grimm got in very early with this entry for Germany. I think it's the best of them all. (If you like it, the one to read next is Afanasiev's Russian collection.) As a book this is perfect. It's just the right length, and there seems to be exactly one of everything. How authentic the Grimms' stories are is of no moment. The whole point of folktales is that there is no original to be faithful to - just a lot of stories, culled and created by a mixture of natural and artificial selection, some tellings of which are better than others. These tellings are all very good. Somehow they did this kind of thing better in the nineteenth century.