I have a whole collection of beautiful fairy tale picture books. I collect what some might call “scary” picture books: the art is gorgeous but haunting, and the tales include the bits about dancing in red hot shoes until dead or wolves’ stomachs being opened by honest woodsmen.
I came across a hardback copy of a favorite (though decidedly not scary) picture book of ours in great condition at a yard sale a year ago, and decided I should give it away to a reader.
So, first, I shall distill my collection down to my top 5 in single picture books and in collections, then show you what I have to giveaway.
My Five Favorite Fairy Tale Picture Books
St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
I consider this not merely a childhood classic, but a childhood essential.
I do believe that resurrection was a simple concept to my oldest two because they were steeped in this book from babyhood.
Comus by Margaret Hodges
I watched for this one used for a long time and finally snagged a copy, thinking it would likely simply be a worthy part of the collection (because of the author and illustrator), but probably not a favorite. It’s a little-known Milton play retold, so it’s a bit stilted and odd.
For a solid year, however, this was Jaeger’s favorite book that he requested every chance he got. I think it’s because there are two young brothers with real swords who valiantly defend and rescue their beautiful little sister. It appealed to his imagination.
However, the art is not for the squeamish or easily scared.
Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney
This tale from Chaucer about Chanticleer “in all his pride” is brilliantly and humorously retold and illustrated by Barbara Cooney.
And all this happened on a Friday.
This one puts on a front of being potentially scary, but is good-natured and lets everyone off in the end.
Beauty and the Beast by Mercer Meyer
Meyer’s version is long for a picture book, but it captures Beauty’s goodness, the Beast’s humanness, and the pathos of the story. This is a book that will ruin your children for the Disney movie. The illustrations are both beautiful and haunting.
Three Little Pigs by Paul Gladone
I will not have a Bible story book that says God saved Noah because Noah was good, and I will not have a version of the Three Little Pigs where the first two pigs are not eaten and the wolf himself is not boiled alive and eaten by the sturdy third pig.
I love this telling of the story, and the art is classic but fun.
Our Favorite Fairy Tale Collections
Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger
Fairy Tale Book Giveaway!
I picked up a copy of the out-of-print Old-Fashioned Children’s Storybook at a church rummage sale a year ago for 10-cents! It is hardback with a dust jacket (only a minor tear), and not even any ex-library markings. It’s in great condition!
And it could be yours.
Just leave a comment and tell me your favorite fairy-tale or folk tale picture book!
I’ll pick a winner on December 15th!