Ruth Brocklehurst & Gillian Doherty (text) & Raffaella Ligi (illustrations)
This beautiful cloth-bound edition (part of the Usborne Clothbound Collection) gathers a selection of fifteen tales retold in a language that is easily accessible for newly independent readers, and include the most famous of the Brothers Grimm’s tales, including Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Elves and the Shoemaker and Hansel and Gretel. However it also includes lesser known tales, such as King Thrushbeard, for young readers to discover. The length of each tale and text size make it easy to access for new readers but also perfect to share as read-aloud bedtime reading.
There is no denying that the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales can be very dark, and sometimes a bit frightening, for young children. However, Raffaella Ligi’s clear and softly coloured illustrations help create a setting that is less threatening. There is a certain dreaminess to her artwork which fits the atmosphere of the tales perfectly.
The tales have also been revised in their retellings, leaving out some of the more not-so-child-friendly details.
The last chapter offers some interesting background information to the tales as well as biographical information about the Brothers Grimm, including a timeline, which is well pitched at the target audience and is a great addition to an already well-rounded little book.
Usborne Illustrated Grimm’s Fairy Tales is a great first introduction to the Brothers Grimm’s classic fairy tales and one that young readers are bound to cherish and return to over and over again.
(This collection is also available as a regular hardback, in the series Illustrated Stories Collection)
Source: review copy from the publisher
All illustrations © Raffaella Ligi, and reproduced with permission