My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross

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My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An interesting selection of fairy tales makes this a little different from the norm, but not all are as satisfying as they could be. Young children in particular will still enjoy them, thanks, in part, to Tony Ross' great illustrations.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1842709801

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Tony Ross has picked, retold and illustrated his favourite fairy tales, taking in such classics as Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast, whilst also offering up slightly lesser-known ones like The Hedley Kow, The Musicians of Bremen, Sweet Porridge, Prince Hyacinth and Fairy Gifts.

The interesting selection is both a strength and a weakness of My Favourite Fairy Tales - it can be good to have something a little different from Snow White or The Elves and the Shoemaker. However, the classics are classics for a reason, and if presented as a selection of favourites, you can't be too obscure. Broadly speaking, the selection strikes the right balance, but it doesn't scream out to be read over and over and over at first glance.

I enjoyed being reminded of Sweet Porridge - a fairy tale I knew but had completely forgotten - and loved getting to know for the first time The Hedley Kow. The Musicians of Bremen, in particular, ended a bit flatly. I know fairy tales wrap up quickly, but it felt unsatisfying, almost as though something was missing. I've heard deeper tellings of Rumpelstiltskin too, although this version felt substantial. For young children, the tales are accessible and engaging, but this is the sort of compendium that should be treasured for years, and older readers might find it a little light when coming back to it down the line.

Tony Ross' energetic illustrations work really well. He lets his hair down and that adds plenty of excitement to the scenes of princesses, monsters, riches, poverty, and thrilling adventure. They're big, action-packed, bright and can't help but draw in the young audience. They sit comfortably side by side with the text, heavily fuelling the imagination, rather than dominating it.

My Favourite Fairy Tales is the sort of book we usually rave about, and so anything less than spot-on perfect always seems much worse by comparison. However, there's still plenty going for it, particularly if you remember some of the less well-known tales from your childhood. If you're looking for an introduction to some fairy tales for your little ones, it's certainly worth a look.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

With fairy tales on the table, we can go all out with further reading suggestions! The Winter Sleepwalker by Joan Aiken has eight fairy tales with a modern twist. Instructions by Neil Gaiman also features a twist on the norm. The Orchard Book of Swords, Sorcerers and Superheroes by Tony Bradman and Tony Ross (just illustrations from Tony Ross this time) goes for all the big names in myth, rather than fairy tales, and has much deeper stories, but is excellent. Its sister books The Orchard Book of Magical Tales by Margaret Mayo and The Orchard Book of Heroes and Villains by Tony Bradman and Tony Ross are also great choices. If you want nursery rhymes, look no further than Favourite Nursery Rhymes by Brian Wildsmith. For individual fairy tales, the aforementioned Snow White by Jane Ray and The Elves and the Shoemaker by Lucy M George and Rachel Swirles are good choices, as is The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Rachel Isadora. Teens and adults will enjoy Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale.

Buy My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross at

Buy My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross at


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