Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Favorite Things: Illustrated Fairy Tales

One of my favorite things to collect are beautifully illustrated fairy tales. I have tried to gather a lot of varieties over the years (especially some of the volumes that I had as a child). To me a children's book is just not complete without beautiful pictures to accompany the story. Here is a list of some of my all-time favorites:

Hilary Knight's Cinderella. This book was a favorite of my sisters and I. The re-telling itself is sweet, but the pictures are absolutely incredible. Each page has lots of tiny details, and I love the whimsical feel of Knight's artwork. If you look carefully, you can also find the fairy godmother hidden throughout most of the story.







Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky. Zelinsky's re-telling is pretty straightforward, but the paintings are really what bring the story to life. Each scene and character looks like they walked off the fabric of an ancient medieval woven tapestry. My favorite picture is Rumpelstiltskin himself riding around a bonfire on a giant cooking spoon.







The Sleeping Beauty by Mercer Mayer. This book has it all: a fantastic retelling, and some of the most beautiful and ethereal artwork you will ever see! Mercer Mayer made a name for himself with his famous children's books about Little Critter, however, he really comes into his own with The Sleeping Beauty. This is hands-down the best version of the story I have ever read, and I could look for hours at his gorgeous watercolor images. Unfortunately this wonderful book is out-of-print, or I would buy a copy for all my friends!

Classic Fairy Tales by Scott Gustafson. If you're looking for a large compilation of fairy tales with lots of great pictures, then this is the book for you. Gustafson's re-tellings are adequate, but his paintings are breathtaking. His art for Snow White and Puss in Boots are two of my favorites, and fortunately his books are available at most of the popular retailers. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have. Happy reading!






Do you have a fairy tale worthy of my list? Let's hear it!

8 comments:

Lindsay Duerden said...

I love Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky! It's so amazing and beautiful! I'm so glad that it made your list:)

Suzanne said...

I kept thinking, where have I heard the name Mercer Meyer. And then when you said the Little Critter book, it was DING! Wow, those illustrations are gorgeous on all the books! -Suzanne

Ann Marie said...

I love your collection!
You have such a good eye for lovely things!
That Cinderella book is my favorite of the ones shown..

I want your Mexican dish! Are you still going to post it?

Elaine said...

Fairy tales were always one of my favorites too. My mother would take me to the El Cajon Library every week and I would check out books on my own library card. A green fairy tale book was checked out over and over - I wish I could remember it's name.

Elaine said...

P.S. I can still remember what area of the library and shelf it was on though...

Adele said...

These look like such fun! I love fairy tales. They're such fun. Especially if they're illustrated!

Marie said...

They all look like ones I would love to read. The Zelinsky cover is so rich and I love Gustafson!

evenstar said...

The Sleeping Beauty by Mercer Mayer is my FAVORITE edition of the fairy tale. I would pore over the intricate illustrations; the best part were the beautiful gowns and hairstyles worn by the women! To your list I would add The Princess and the Pea illustrated by Janet Stevens. The characters are all animals, nicely detailed, which makes the story so much more fun.