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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2010
I have been a fan of Oscar Wilde ever since I read Lady Windermere's Fan in English. From then I have read his entire works and his biography and even named my cat after him. But I admit I only read his children's stories for the first time about ten years ago and I'm glad I was an adult when I first read them. They are so beautifully written I'm not sure if I would have properly appreciated the stories before then. Unlike the fairy tales I was told as a child most of them are quite sad at the end, so may not be suitable for very young children.
These stories were originally written for Oscar's own children and show another side of the Oscar Wilde we have come to know. Each one is equally as enchanting and filled with unmistakable morality. Definitely tales to treasure.
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on 24 June 2010
The stories are obviously great,and are available in print in lots of books, so I just wanted to advise that this book is very small and the illustrations, which are really what is supposed to be the point of buying this book, are very disappointing, small, poorly printed and difficult to appreciate. The 'look inside' feature on this page makes them look better than they are in print. I would say look for a more lavishly illustrated version elsewhere.
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on 23 May 2012
I have been reading thse stories to my seven year old son. The selfish giant was recommended to me, so I decided to buy the book of short stories which included it rather than the single book. The selfish giant was fab and we really enjoyed it. they are on the whole very deep and dark. My son is enjoying listening to them, though i find them quite heavy to read out loud. They are certainly memorable. it has been an interesting journey through the book! Would certainly recommend the Selfish Giant to other readers.
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on 4 January 2017
Whether these were really written for children, I don't know. The stories all have fairytale themes and structures, of course, but some of the imagery is quite disturbing too (but then some Christian imagery is..!). The writing however is rhythmical and quite beautiful, as one would expect from Oscar Wilde, and the stories can give rise to some deep conversations too. ("What does it mean?" my eight year old asked after The Selfish Giant.) So do be aware that these are Oscar Wilde stories and not fairy stories - and read them first before you read them to your child - but for some beautiful prose, particularly if you don't know them, do read them - and especially out loud. I personally can hardly get through The Happy Prince without choking up - even part-way through, 'cos I know what's coming... - again quite vulnerable moments to share with one's daughter...!

PJ Lynch's artwork is beautiful too and enhances the stories, though of course they work extremely well without it too... best to read aloud and then perhaps share the artwork later.. But do check them out before you read them to your children. They are quite beautiful, but I'm not sure they were ever meant for children, so the title may be somewhat misleading.
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on 13 July 2013
Read it first time in my early 20s. Have not allowed my children to read it as children. My 17 yrs oldread it now and was so moved. As myself, hewill never forget it.. What a way to combine children story with true reality. Scary and so realistic. OW as his best
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on 6 August 2013
I totally agree with the first reviewer. This is a gorgeous book, beautifully written and with the most exquisite illustrations by P. J. Lynch. However, the content of the stories, and particularly "The Nightingale and the Rose", is unutterably bleak and, to my mind, quite unsuitable for children. I am keeping the copy I bought until the child for whom I'd intended it is considerably older and, even then, I shall show it to her parents first so that they may judge whether or not it is appropriate.
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on 30 January 2011
An attractively presented paperback, beautifully illustrated, in Wilde's incomparable English, which I will use to interest foreign learners of English.
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on 25 June 2011
I only ever knew Oscar wild for "Dorian Grey" and I was pleasantly surpise to come across this little pearl of a book. I read it in a session and every story left me with a mixture of sadness joy and awe.. my kids loved the stories too.
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on 24 January 2015
Probably one of the best collections of children stories. Oscar wildes flair and literary genius is inspiring. I use this as a teaching resource for my younger pupils and they are engaged with every story. I highly recommend this book
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on 3 March 2014
These stories are timeless, although from an adult perspective there are a few homoerotic elements to them.
They are nice children stories and the art is beautiful
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