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The Usborne Book of Fairy Stories (Usborne Stories) Paperback – 12 Dec 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd (12 Dec. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0746018193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0746018194
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 20.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has been a favourite with all of my children.
The pictures are lovely, and are by the same illustrator as Farmyard Tales.
It's a real treat having a favourite book with so many great stories. All too often the children only like one or two of the stories in a collection.
Recommended for 2 year olds who will sit still, but better still for those closer to 4!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with the earlier reviewers that this book is great. The classic fairy tales (which I always remembered in Ladybird Book format) are too complex for toddlers and pre-school children. But the classic stories are so good you want to start sharing them with your little ones as soon as possible. This book makes it possible.

It contains the well known stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood and several others. The stories are heavily abridged to make them accessible to toddlers but are still there in essence.

The best feature of all the Usborne series of books is their staging of language. At the top of each page is the simplest possible text summarising what is happening. This is great for 2 year olds with basic language skills. At the bottom of each page, suitable for 3-4 year olds, is a small expansion of the story. In this way this book grows with your child, taking them up to the more grown up and fuller versions of the fairy tales.

Another aspect of the Usborne series that I and my children love is the "hunt the duck" game. Every page of every story incorporates a small yellow duck who your child can search for. This sometimes gets forgotten when my little ones are really engrosed in the story. At times like this we often have to go back through the pages just to look for the duck!

I can heartily recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I echo what most other reviewers have said about the great illustrations, the duck is great too! I just have some reservations about the way the stories have been adapted. Why was it thought necessary to render the stories entirely in the present tense? It is not the natural way language is learned and makes the stories sound contrived at times. Some sentences have also been simplified in a clumsy way - why doesn't Sleeping Beauty end with "...and they all live(d) happily ever after" instead of "...and they're always happy", when the latter is simply not a construction you will ever find in any other book? OK, so I am a linguist by "trade", but these little niggles spoil it for me - I want my child to learn English as it is normally written and spoken, not some contrived (and incorrect) version.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is great for 2-4 year olds

The stories are short, simple and beautifully illustrated. I've read this book thousands of times to my daughter who can recite many of them.

If anyone from Usbourne reads this then PLEASE do a sequel of more fairy stories....
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my daughter because for the money it seemed a great deal, 5 Fairy tales for just £4.89, not too different to the amount I was going to pay for each book individually.

However, the author seems to have been so keen to compress the story lines that the stories read like a book synopsis all in the past tense. There are none of the classic Fairy Tale lines that young kids love to hear (particularly noticeable in "3 Little Pigs") like:
- Not by the hair of My Chinny-Chin-Chin, I will not let you in
- Then I will huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in

Not quite the same when your "young uns" can't join in and get excited by these classic lines.
On the other hand, the book doesn't cost too much and so isn't too bad value for money.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when my eldest was 2 to introduce him to fairy tales. I had tried reading him some of my old fairy tale books, but the language was simply too difficult, the stories too long and the pictures too complex (as was the style then, I suppose). So I ordered this book and it was a hit from day 1.

It contains the classic childhood fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella etc. and tells them in a very summarised form. The more touchy issues are left out or skimmed over (e.g. the wolf falls through the chimney into the 3 pigs' pot of boiling water, then the pigs are shown eating soup saying they will live together) and the sentences are kept simple and understandable. They are even printed big enough for early-readers and indeed it was the first book my eldest started reading.

Each page (i.e. each sentence or two) is accompanied by a lovely colourful and yet simple picture which the kids love to use to point out the things I am reading to them. About 5-6 pages make up a story, which is the perfect match to a 2-year-old's attention span, and as the children get older, you can even read the whole book without overdoing the bed-time reading time slot.

This book has accompanied us whereever we go for over 2 years now, and although it is often and ungently fought over by my boys, is still in good shape. 5 stars on all fronts for this one.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book, based on the pictures and numerous positive reviews. I had no idea there were only 3-4 simple sentences per page, and by simple I mean they lack entire words which would cause them to flow as an ENTIRE SENTENCE. The sentences don't even sound complete ("fairy godmother waved her wand" or "next day, the prince is very unhappy" - too lazy to use the word THE?).

While I can see revising stories for younger children, I am disapointed with the fact that this book completely dumbs down classic children's tales, and there are huge gaps in the stories. Little children have quickly developing vocabularies and this book does not even challenge using one's brain in the slightest.

CONS
~ written for a lump of clay
~ lack of cohesive sentences
~ huge gaps in the story that makes it seem incomplete
~ nothing like a "classic fairy tale"

PROS
~ lovely pictures (which do not make up for a poorly written book)
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