Status: Out of Print
A delightfully illustrated retelling of 22 favorite folktales, fairy tales, and fables that every child should know. Retold from the works of Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm.
“Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Carle’s reputation as an artist and storyteller is the attraction here, for most of these tales may be easily found elsewhere. Stories such as “The Wild Swans” or “The Rabbit and the Turtle” enjoy popularity through handsome picture-book versions, and the many other Aesop and Grimm stories that Carle retells can be found in most collections. The book’s large size is comfortable for use at home, and Carle’s distinctive collages can be found on almost every page. The stories themselves are told in a modern, straightforward style and can easily meet requests for bedtime reading, especially for older children. This is a handsome volume that will attract old fans—and make new ones—for Carle’s work.”
– by DMW, Booklist, March 1, 1988
“This volume contains reprints from three of Carle’s previous books. But in collapsing the longer tales, some of the original focus of the stories is blurred. Even in works as brief as Aesop’s fables, the pacing is flat. But that is a small flaw compared to the artist’s visual triumphs. The blended collage and paint pictures gleam with color and beauty, reflecting accurately the motif of each story. For example, there is dramatic tension in Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” and other cliff-hangers and knee-slapping comedy in the Grimms’ “The Seven Swabians.” Signs of Carle’s ingenuity adorn every page. Ages 4-9.”
– Publishers Weekly, May 13, 1988
“PreS-Gr 4. A handsome compilation of 22 stories selected from the previously published Twelve Tales From Aesop (Philomel, 1980; o.p.), Seven Stories From Hans Christian Andersen (Watts, 1978; o.p.), and Eric Carle’s Storybook: Seven Stories from the Brothers Grimm (Watts, 1976; o.p.). The result is a varied selection ranging from familiar tales such as Tom Thumb and The Rabbit and the Turtle to more obscure stories including The Seven Swabians and The Winners. Arrangement is well balanced, with the short fables interspersed among the longer stories of Andersen and Grimm. Stories appear virtually verbatim from the first editions with concise, spirited language in keeping with the nature of the tales. Carle has pared down the original versions, sometimes at the expense of the irony and humor; this is most notably absent in the selections from Andersen. He has also invented some plot twists to make the tales more logical in their shortened form. The 11 fables from Aesop are presented with no ultimately stated morals but retain their teaching spirit, although the message of The Grasshopper and the Ants has been completely reversed. Carle’s distinctive style of bright watercolor and collage illustration provides and excellent complement to the lively text. Most of the art from the original volumes has been reproduced, supplemented with some new illustrations. The reproductions have been toned down slightly from the more garish originals, resulting in improved color and clarity. An adequate choice for those mid-range readers who are too old for nursery story collections yet too young for the original full-length tales.”
– by Starr LaTronica, School Library Journal, April, 1988