on 28 August 2005
I read this book when I was 6 and have to write the first review because it is FANTASTIC! If you are buying a book for your children or as a gift this is the one! Not only are the illustrations by Jan Pienkowski brilliant but the stories are all romantic, spellbinding (if a little gory as all the best fairy tales are) and unlike anything you will have read before. If it is like another book it would be Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales or a Roald Dahl classic. Amongst the tall tales my favourites are Baba Yaga - which surprised me by recently appearing in The Weakest Link as a question, The Reed Girl and The Sun God's Castle. A seriously excellent children's book - definitely buy it!
on 19 December 2011
Combine wonderful prose, fabulous stories, and incredible art work and you have a gem of a book. I've bought this for my 8 yr old but after pre reading it to check its suitability I've not been able to bring myself to wrap it yet, preferring to have a little browse each evening. I'm going to find it hard to give away, even to my own daughter! I don't think it's a book for younger than 8 ish: probably would please, but much younger might not quite get so much out of the pictures and stuff.
A miniature work of art.
on 29 March 2010
This is a great little book of Fairtytales. However, I think I should add the warning that some are a little bit... strange. As with everything, read them yourself before reading them aloud to a child! They certainly aren't all "happily ever after" tales, although most end well.
That said, the book is one that I would recommend, and Jan Pienkowski's illustrations are amazing, as always.
on 5 May 2014
We have an enormous collection of Joan Aiken's books in our house. I loved them as a child and my children now enjoy them too. Her writing is full of imagination and spirit, peopled with characters who leap out of the pages and become great friends. Her Wolves of Willoughby Chase series is brilliant but I love her short story collections too. They read like forgotten fairy tales. One of my favourite things about her writing is the way she will take an every day situation and twist it to include fantastical elements such as griffin's eggs or the three furies coming to visit, as if it were perfectly natural that such things should happen.
A wonderful writer who deserves to be better known.
on 1 May 2013
Great hard backed book full of amazing pictures and captivating, magical stories. My kids found these unusual tales really different from the traditional well known stories, they were more exciting. My 11 year old enjoyed reading this book by herself, however it makes a great reading aloud book to younger kids as the stories are not too long. The tales are also not too "sugar coated" ,they have some scary twists! GREAT!!