Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The McElderry Book of Grimms' Fairy Tales

The McElderry Book of Grimms' Fairy Tales

Fall 2006 Picture Books
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark
Told By: Saviour Pirotta
ISBN: 1-4169-1798-5
Hardcover Price: $19.95
First published in England in 2002, this nicely designed collection of 10 Grimm's' tales includes both the well-known-“The Sleeping Beauty” (Briar Rose), “The Golden-Haired Girl in the Tower” (Rapunzel), and “The Magic Gingerbread House” (Hansel and Gretel)—and the less-familiar—“Little Mouse and Lazy Cat”, “The Swans and the Brave Princess” (The Six Swans), and “The Magic Bear and the Handsome Prince” (Snow White and Rose Red). Pirotta's retellings are straightforward and colloquial without soft-pedaling the darker aspects of the stories (evil witches get burned at the stake, trusting rodents get eaten, and a handsome prince in the guise of a frog winds up in the bed of a princess). The design of the book—a different flower for each story decorates the bottom corners of the pages, the title of each story arches across the top, the low-gloss paper is thick and creamy white—enrich the collection's appeal. And Clark's illustrations, varying from vignettes to full-page pictures to wordless double-page spreads (one per story) create a richly colored timeless world that is altogether appropriate. In one slyly conceived layout, a princess appears to have been reading her own story from this very volume...the book left open on her bedside table.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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