Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Illustrator: Gris Grimly
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm cataloged a treasure trove of European folktales that are brought to new life in this edition. Old favorites like Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, The Elves and the Shoemaker, and Cinderella all make an appearance. Just as intriguing are the lesser known heroes like the princess without hands, the woman who disobeyed the Virgin Mary, and the vast array of animals who form bands, proclaim popes, and search for true love. Perhaps they may appear strange to some readers because the stories are less common, but in many cases these tales have familiar morals and magic. This particular translation has very little modernization in the text, so readers will feel like they have truly tapped into something classic.
Gris Grimly illustrates this edition by emphasizing the macabre, the unsettling, and, of course, the grim nature of these tales. His art is reminiscent of Tim Burton and Brett Helquist. He exaggerates the proportions of people in a way that is fantastic and delightfully creepy. Most of the illustrations are pen and ink, but readers are treated to full-size paintings throughout. His Gothic color palette features shades of red and gray that contribute to a mournful tone. People familiar with European art will also catch references in his images to famous portraits and styles. The stories are entertaining, but the true success of this book is how you will want to spend as much time staring at the illustrations as you will reading the fairy tales.
*Contains moderate violence.