Friday, December 18, 2009

12 Days: Lots of Different Fairy Tale Books

My apologies for the lateness of this post today.
I've been having connection difficulties.

Books are the obvious fairy tale gift to my way of thinking, which is why I tried to find non-book ideas these past two weeks. But I can't help recommending a few, so I saved a bunch for this last post in the series. :) Here are some different types of fairy tale books that you may not have heard of. Some are new, some are not and you can find more information by clicking on the titles below the cover images:

Magic Hoofbeats (with CD)
by Josepha Sherman
Availability: Released September 2007 - still available.
Description: Multicultural fairy tale and folktale collection on a horse theme. An unusual collection of tales not often printed with the added bonus of horse facts scattered throughout. Scholarly yet accessible to kids. Includes a CD of the stories being read, lovely watercolor illustrations and a brief list of sources.

There Was An Old Lady
by Jeremy Holmes
Availability: New August 2009
Description: Hardcover - the book is like a piece of art. Unusually shaped, comical, whimsical and the eyes close at the end via a clever little paper tab.

The Diary of Hansel and Gretel
by Kees Moerbeek
Availability: Out of print but still readily available.
Description: At last, here is the true story of what really happened to Hansel and Gretel, in the words of Gretel herself. This book is a faithful reproduction of Gretel's original diary, complete with all of her drawings -- as well as the very first newspaper article by the Brothers Grimm. (Pop-ups, inserted notes and artifacts, interactive.)

Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand
by Louise Hawes
Availability: Released May 2008 - still available
Description: Seven edgy/dark retellings of fairy tales (and one legend). Beautifully written in a fairy tale style with lovely pencil drawings throughout. The twists sneak up on you and you should beware of the sexual content if you're giving it to younger teens. As a hint to the twists, the cover is actually a picture of Cinderella herself.

Pretty Monsters: Stories
by Kelly Link
Availability: Released October 2008 - still available
Description: YA collection of fairytale style stories. This book has been getting rave reviews and comparisons to Neil Gaiman's storytelling. The hardcover has black edged pages and illustrations by award winning artist Shaun Tan.

Sisters Red
by Jackson Pearce
Availability: Not yet! Coming June 2010 (you can pre-order a surprise for someone!)
Description: The story of Red Riding Hood and her younger sister after the death of their grandmother... of and some werewolves. Jackson Pearce talks a lot about fairy tales in her interviews so this is one to watch for at the very least.

Twisted Tales: Fairy Tale Anthology
by Isabelle Rose
Availability: New November 2009 for Kindle (hard copies available HERE)
Description: Anthology of short stories and poems for Kindle. Dark retellings of classic fairy tales by newer authors. I haven't read any excerpts but the folks involved love fairy tales. Contest for a free copy through December HERE.

Availability: New August and September 2009 for Kindle (PDFs coming)
Description: Excellent collections of hard-to-find fairy tales, with new translations. By the mastermind behind the SurLaLune website. Three titles so far: "The Frog Prince and Other Frog Tales From Around the World", "The Fairy Tale Fiction of Anne Isabella Thackery Ritchie" and "Rapunzel and Other Maiden in the Tower Tales From Around the World".

Availability: Released October 2006 - still available
Description: A fairy tale for adults - a boy mourns the death of his mother and reality and fantasy worlds start to blur together. On his journey back to the real world he meets many fairy tale characters. By turns funny, poignant, surprising. A book about hope and the power of stories. While the paper book is available the audiobook highly recommended to take you through the journey.

The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People
by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Availability: Not yet! Coming April 2010 (you can pre-order a surprise for someone!)
Description: The newest collection of retold fairy and folktales on a shape-changer theme from the best authors and editors in the business. Gorgeous illustrations throughout by Charles Vess (I've seen a couple of previews!). The pre-order price on this one is excellent - you will still save even with shipping.

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic
Availability: New October 2009 for Kindle (Hardcover available February 2010)
Description: Part of The Myths series. From the website: Dubravka Ugrešić takes the story of Baba Yaga and weaves it into something completely fresh. The result is an extraordinary meditation on femininity, ageing, identity, secrets, storytelling and love.

Availability: New September 2009
Description: A newly illustrated version of Jane Yolen's original fairy tale about a blind emperor's daughter (originally published 1977). This is a stunning book with gorgeous specialty printing and embossed pages - which underlines the story perfectly.

Availability: Released November 2008 - still available
Description: Retold fairy tales in ballet settings (with a whole lot of humor!) based on the classic tales. From the Ballet Friends series but it can definitely stand alone.

The World Before This One: A Novel Told in Legend
by Rafe Martin
Availability: Released August 2005 - still available in paperback but I recommend hunting down a hardcover
Description: Folktales (Seneca tales) retold in novel format in a wonderful storytelling fashion. The book is worth getting for the incredible papercuts alone that illustrate the stories, but the writing is beautiful as well. A good gift for scholars and older children who love tales alike.

The Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales
by Neil Philip & Illustrated by Nilesh Mistry
Availability: Released March 1998 - out of print but still easy to find
Description: This remains a favorite fairy tale collection of mine because it's multicultural and contains facts along the way (scattered in the sidebars of the pages) and points to similar tales across cultures. Many of the tales are not the usual version you might expect, though the familiar ones are referenced. The illustrations are unusual in that they span the pages of the book and flow from one scene of the story in to the other (see the Beauty & the Beast example above). An excellent way to be introduced to tales from other cultures and lesser known variants without losing that 'fairy tale feel' those of us who grew up with European tales love.

1001 Nights: Illustrated Fairy Tales from One Thousand And One Nights
Edited by Robert Klanten & Hendrik Hellige
Availability: Released November 2005 - still available
Contemporary illustrations by a number of different illustrators of traditional 1001 tales - some well known, other less so. A good way to become familiar with the tales. More suitable for adults.

Today is the last day I'll be specifically posting gift ideas for Christmas/Yule/Kwanzaa/Hannukah/etc on a fairy tale theme but ideas are everywhere!

Heidi Anne Heiner, of SurLaLune, has a knack for finding the most gorgeous games and toys, not to mention is the best source of fairy tale books around so be sure to browse her blog. The link is HERE.

Also Elva Undine of Folk and Fairy (Folklore and Fairy: Clever finds for the faerie inclined) finds some of the loveliest things including things you can purchase as gifts. Her blog is HERE.

NOTE: As usual, please note I am not affiliated with any of these stores or products. I do not receive any commission from any visit to the site or any purchase. These are just items I thought may interest people as fairy tale themed gifts for the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yuletide/Holiday Season. :)

Don't forget the "Pursuit of Happiness" Giveaway!
This is the last of the "12 Days" posts but you still have TWO DAYS to enter before the deadline on December 20th, so be sure to email me before then.
(Check out one of the prize options in the preview above! Click for a larger view...)

Details for the giveaway are HERE and the wonderful London Particulars (who are making this giveaway possible through their generosity) can be found HERE.


  1. thanks, its a great list, i want to read many of them, the images looks amazing *__*
    hey check my blog


  2. I am surprised by how few of these I have heard of, but so many look great. Thanks for sharing these!