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on 28 January 2009
A gorgeous book. I bought this for a friend's daughter. It arrived and I intended to flick through it quickly. Instead I found myself drawn in. There are twenty stories here (told over 240 pages). Some are the stories everyone knows: Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel & Gretel etc. But there were plenty that were entirely new to me including The Thirteenth Child, Cap-of-Rushes, Three Oranges, The Flower of Love. I knew ten of the twenty. All the ones I've read (about half of them) were enchanting. Some had elements I'd read about before in other stories (a princess who compares her love of her father to salt etc.) but were still new to me. I've read numerous different versions of Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, The Dancing Princess (or The Twelve Princesses) etc. and naturally this book has the authors own take on all the stories. The important elements are all there, there are no radical changes, but the stories are all enchanting, with virtue rewarded, without the disneyfied sacharine sweetness. This is particulary evident in The Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen's original is lovely but deeply sad. Disney completely re-wrote the ending. This stays truer to the original but the ending becomes wistful, bittersweet and triumphant. I loved these stories and will be buying a copy for my daughters. A book to treasure. For those that want to know these things: the book itself is a glossy soft back with quality paper and printing and plenty of delightful illustrations. Would recommend.
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on 1 December 2010
One of Geraldine McCaughrean's many talents is to put familiar words together in a way that feels fresh and new - even though many of these stories are old favorites. The combination of much loved and less well known fairy tales results in a book to keep you going back to read and re read.

Sophy Williams' pastel illustrations are evocative and beautiful with some of the best ones hidden well inside the book. Each of the 20 stories has it's own colour scheme and the book feels substantial and well produced. My children love it.
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on 29 August 2016
This was advertised to be in good condition. However it had a lot of scribble and colouring in, far from what I would describe as good condition. Have returned immediately
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