Jennifer's Reviews > Classic Fairy Tales: Candlewick Illustrated Classic

Classic Fairy Tales by Berlie Doherty
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Sep 07, 09

bookshelves: childrens-books
Read in September, 2009

I am always cautious of modern re-tellings of classic fairy tales. I greatly prefer fairy tales to remain largely the way I remember them from my childhood and I wholeheartedly believe children today should experience the same joy from these stories as generations before them. That said, I am happy to report Candlewick Press's Classic Fairy Tales written by Berlie Doherty passes my rigid authenticity test.

Doherty admits that she took the liberty to add small changes to each of the fairy tales with a "color here or a jewel there", but these inclusions don't twist the plot or characters into unrecognizable new tales.

One of the things I love most about Candlewick Press' edition of the classic fairy tales is the illistrations modernize the stories. Jane Ray, the amazingly talented illustrator of these fairy takes, render the characters more diverse and even ethereal. For example, Sleeping Beauty looks as if she was born in South America. And Beauty from Beauty and the Beast is clearly an African-American character. It is refreshing to see that the characters as they are drawn in the book changes the stories to a degree while the stories themselves remain the same.

Regardless of race, though, Ray's drawings bring each fairy tale to life with her attention to detail and gorgeous depictions of characters we have all come to love and behold in our collective imaginations.

Kindergarten and up
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