When I first received this book and opened the padded envelope it came in, I was in awe of how beautifully illustrated the cover was. It simply took my breath away. The princess sleeping was so real, yet surreal and dreamy at the same time. I fell in love with the cover. It is, in a word, sumptuous.
I love fairy tales. My first love affair with books was because of Andrew Lang’s Green Fairy Book. I remember walking into the library, finding that book, then going home and falling so deeply into it that I didn’t hear my mother calling me for a long time. I was transported into the world of fairytales. Needless to say, I got into trouble for not listening. I was lucky enough to repeat that sense of getting lost in another world with this book.
I’ve read Grimm’s Fairytales before, all of them and I know them well. We’re old friends. Saviour Pirotta’s retelling, though, is another story. I loved the changes he made, as in the ending to Snow White where the wicked stepmother’s heart breaks into a thousand pieces as the magic mirror shatters. He truly made them new and fresh. There’s an emotional quality to his writing that I loved - he gets you involved in the same way that Andrew Lang did to me all those years ago.
The McElderry Book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales contains ten tales, including one of my favorites, "The Swans," and "The Brave Princess." Each page is beautifully illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark and the cover is only a hint of the gorgeous and lush illustrations to be found in the book. I found her creepy rendition of the forest in "Hansel and Gretel" to be very dark and scary. Kids are going to love this book, as will their parents.