Children's book review by Jane Finch.
(Webmaster's note: One of the great things about the times we live in is that copyright law and the rise of self-publishing have converged in such a fashion that any enterprising individual can bring a classic, old book back to life. Such is the case here with Hamilton Wright Mabie's 1905 collection, Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know, rediscovered 109 years later by our reviewer!)
I came across this little gem when browsing on Amazon.
I was looking for an interesting children’s book to review. I really love the old fairy tales, and whilst classics like Cinderella and Snow White are so well known, I wondered if there were any in this compilation that I had not previously read, or had forgotten.
The first story took me by surprise, because I had never heard of it.
One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes is a different take on the Cinderella theme. With three sisters and a cruel mother, Two Eyes is treated harshly, given little food, and made to work every day. Whilst out in the field with her pet goat she meets, essentially, her Fairy Godmother, whose magic saves the young girl from starvation. Not surprisingly (though thankfully) a handsome prince rides by and saves Two Eyes. They fall in love and marry.
Happy Ever After.
I am amazed I had never heard of this tale before, and although the premise is so similar to Cinderella, it was really enjoyable and I am convinced children would love it.
The Magic Mirror is the story of Snow White, a well-known tale of envy and jealousy that has often been retold.
The Enchanted Stag is another fairy tale I have not previously read. With a premise similar to Hansel and Gretel, a sister and brother run away from their cruel stepmother. Unfortunately, the brother ends up being turned into a stag by magic (the stepmother is also a witch), and the sister and stag lived together in a cottage in the woods.
All is as well as could be hoped for until the king's hunting expedition arrives and stagboy feels compelled to run with his mates; eventually this brings the king to the cottage where he
meets the sister and falls in love. They all go to the castle, where the king
marries the sister, but the wicked stepmother tries to take her revenge.
A simple and well used premise with a touch of magic.
There are other well known fairy tales here, such as Hansel and Gretel, Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad; you'll find a full list is at the end of this review.
Amongst them I found yet another tale that was new to me, The White Cat, a story of a king who sends out his two sons to find the perfect gift.
Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
I feel I really missed out by not knowing of these stories when I was a child, because I loved reading fairy tales.
It should be noted that because these are the original stories, the language is perhaps slightly dated in parts, but for me this enhanced the magic of this compilation. Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know would make a wonderful addition to any family library, one that could be passed on to generations to follow.
All the fairy tales:
Back to the fairy tales page.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.