Fairy Tale Book

Fairy Tales of the World, Retold and Illustrated by Edmund Dulac. Published by Barefoot, Horticulture Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. ISBN: 1-56957-914-8.

This wee book, 3 1/4" x 4 3/4", can fit in your pocket. In fact, it would make a great Christmas stocking stuffer. The writing level could be assessed for ages 12 and older, but I find that because it was written in the early 1900s, a few of the stories may be more easily understood by an adult audience. The Buried Moon is one such tale which maintains the wondrous quality of fairy tales that were read to you when you were young by capturing the adult imagination through old-fashioned and colloquial terms.

The Editor's Foreword is a fascinating review of Edmund Dulac's life as a bon vivant and creator in many mediums. Born in France in 1882, he was an art student in Toulouse, but was enamored by the works of English artists like William Morris and Walter Crane. At the age of twenty-two he expatriated to England and remained there for the remainder of his life.

Dulac became primarily an illustrator of books, but he also worked in theatrical mediums designing sets, costumes and masks; he designed furniture, cards, banknotes, composed music and, of course, wrote. During World War I, Leicester Galleries in London commissioned his illustrations in combination with his writing of fairy tales. In this edition, Fairy Tales of the World offers fifteen colour plates for eight of the fourteen stories originally published in 1916.

The Table of Contents reads: Snegortcha, A Russian Fairy Tale; The Buried Moon, An English Fairy Tale; The Serpent Prince, An Italian Fairy Tale; Ivan and the Chestnut Horse, A Russian Fairy Tale; The Queen of the Many-Colored Bedchamber, An Irish Fairy Tale; The Green Serpent, A French Fairy Tale; Urashima Taro, A Japanese Fairy Tale; The Fire Bird, A Russian Fairy Tale.

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