The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales and the other two books in the series from Maria Tatar are another part of this month's library essentials. These are especially beneficial for the more casual but still enthusiastic fairy tale armchair scholar, filled with annotated versions of the tales and illustrations and other materials. It's rather like the SurLaLune site in book format and through a somewhat different perspective.
Book description from the publisher:
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales is a remarkable treasure trove, a work that celebrates the best-loved tales of childhood and presents them through the vision of Maria Tatar, a leading authority in the field of folklore and children's literature. Into the woods with Little Red Riding Hood, up the beanstalk with Jack, and down through the depths of the ocean with the Little Mermaid, this volume takes us through many of the familiar paths of our folkloric heritage. Gathering together twenty-five of our most cherished fairy tales, including enduring classics like "Beauty and the Beast," "Jack and the Beanstalk," " ," and "Bluebead," Tatar expertly guides readers through the stories, exploring their historical origins, their cultural complexities, and their psychological effects. Offering new translations of the non-English stories by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm, or Charles Perrault, Tatar captures the rhythms of oral storytelling and, with an extraordinary collection of over 300 often rare, mostly four-color paintings and drawings by celebrated illustrators such as Gustave Doré, George Cruikshank, and Maxfield Parrish, she expands our literary and visual sensibilities. As Tatar shows, few of us are aware of how profoundly fairy tales have influenced our culture. Disseminated across a wide variety of historical and contemporary media ranging from opera and drama to cinema and advertising, they constitute a vital part of our storytelling capital. What has kept them alive over the centuries is exactly what keeps life pulsing with vitality and variety: anxieties, fears, desires, romance, passion, and love. Up close and personal, fairy tales tell us about the quest for romance and riches, for power and privilege, and, most importantly, they show us a way out of the woods back to the safety and security of home. Challenging the notion that fairy tales should be read for their moral values and used to make good citizens of little children, Tatar demonstrates throughout how fairy tales can be seen as models for navigating reality, helping children to develop the wit and courage needed to survive in a world ruled by adults. This volume seeks to reclaim this powerful cultural legacy, presenting the stories that we all think we know while at the same time providing the historical contexts that unlock the mysteries of the tales. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales is a volume that will rank as one of the finest fairy tale collections in many decades, a provocative and original work to be treasured by students, parents, and children. Over 300 often rare, mostly four-color paintings and drawings by celebrated illustrators.
The Annotated Brothers Grimm (The Annotated Books) description from the publisher:
The Annotated Brothers Grimm celebrates the richness and dramatic power of the legendary fables in the most spectacular and unusual Grimm volume in decades. Containing forty stories in new translations by Maria Tatar—including "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella," "Snow White," and "Rapunzel"—the book also features 150 illustrations, many of them in color, by legendary painters such as George Cruikshank and Arthur Rackham; hundreds of annotations that explore the historical origins, cultural complexities, and psychological effects of these tales; and a biographical essay on the lives of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Perhaps most noteworthy is Tatar's decision to include tales that were previously excised, including a few bawdy stories and others that were removed after the Grimms learned that parents were reading the book to their children—stories about cannibalism in times of famine and stories in which children die at the end. Enchanting and magical, The Annotated Brothers Grimm will cast its spell on children and adults alike for decades to come. 75 color and 75 black-and-white illustrations.
The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books) description from the publisher:
In her most ambitious annotated work to date, Maria Tatar celebrates the stories told by Denmark's "perfect wizard" and re-envisions Hans Christian Andersen as a writer who casts his spell on both children and adults. Andersen's most beloved tales, such as "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Little Mermaid," are now joined by "The Shadow" and "Story of a Mother," mature stories that reveal his literary range and depth. Tatar captures the tales' unrivaled dramatic and visual power, showing exactly how Andersen became one of the world's ten most translated authors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, and Marx. Lushly illustrated with more than one hundred fifty rare images, many in full color, by artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen will captivate readers with annotations that explore the rich social and cultural dimensions of the nineteenth century and construct a compelling portrait of a writer whose stories still fascinate us today.