Mary Englelbreit's Nursery Tales: A Treasury of Children's Classics. Harper Collins Publishers: 2008
This 126-page book contains all the classic fairy tales that children grow up hearing. Mary Engelbreit uses her cheerful art to bring each tale to life. The characters seem to jump off the page as the story is read. In some cases, the stories are changed ever so slightly so as to give the characters a much happier ending than they had in the original story. For example, the three little pigs are in the end safe in their brick house and playing music all night long. And Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother live to eat again when the wolf runs away in embarrassment.
Other tales include The Emperor's New Clothes, Hansel and Gretel, The City Mouse and the Country Mouse, and so many more. If your child has graduated from board books and is ready to turn the pages of a larger book, then you will love reading this book together. Snugglebug isn't quite there yet, so I enjoyed reading the book by myself. I was delighted by each story and subsequently the pleasant endings.
I have often been dissapointed or even horrified at some of the classic endings such as the wolf eating the pigs or the wolf eating Grandma. Other's just struck me as meaningless or perhaps teaching the wrong meaning. This new Nursery Tale book tells the tales in such a way that it is a joy to read and re-read each story.
And of course, you can't forget the illustrator. Engelbreit is herself a classical artist and the pairing of these tales and her art is a book that will be cherished by anyone no matter the age. This would be a great book for a teacher's gift as well as a birthday present for your favorite youngster.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers