Sometimes I write posts just to serve as little reminders to myself. The most passionately worn in my entire fairy tale book collection are my Color Fairy books, edited by Andrew Lang. Do you know these? Did you read these? Andrew Lang is my personal hero, for his tireless work in collecting fairy tales from all over the world and putting them into these collections. His fairy tales include certain stories that exist as the first English translations.
In the 4th and 5th grades, I read little else besides these books. These aren't baby fairy tales. They're dense, text heavy, interesting stories that are far off the beaten track of well known fairy tales. Have you heard of the 'The Frog and the Lion Fairy'? Or 'The Enchanted Wreath'? Or 'The White Slipper'?
I spent hours of class time secretly drawing princesses and fairies at my desk, trying oh so hard to match the delicate and lovely art style. I failed miserably, but to me, the way the heroes and heroines were depicted in these books were the way people in fairy tales were supposed to look - romantic and old fashioned and otherworldly.
My books are in TERRIBLE shape. One of my favs, 'The Violet Fairy Book' is just ripped to shreds. They all need replacing something fierce. And happily, they are still available and you can get them new! Red. Lilac. Green. Crimson. I'm not sure what happened to my PINK fairy tale book, but that one was a particular favorite. Certain books have a certain 'flavor' if you will - for instance, the Orange one has more Persian and Arabian tales in it than the others.
I'm going to start getting new ones, and swapping them out, one by one. A book collection that spent a childhood in humid Hawaii does not not hold up well throughout the years, unfortunately.
If you want some gorgeous books to add to your home libraries, or want something interesting for your kids who might think themselves 'too old for fairy tales', you might want to surprise your kiddos with some of these. I can promise you they are for bigger kids only; the absolute youngest age I would start these at would be age 7 or 8. While there are lots of fairy tale options for wee ones, I think fairy tales books for older elementary ages are in scarce supply. Happily, there are a TON of colors in this series to choose from! There's even a fancy Rainbow fairy book edition in hardcover, which is available used. (I have it, I'll show that one off in a later post.)