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The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales Review by Heidi Strawser

By Malachy Doyle
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140

When I was a little girl, one of my all-time favorite books was a big, hardbound book of fairy tales. I remember my mom reading them to me, and then reading them to myself when I was older. I no longer have that book, and I can only assume that I wore it out! So I was excited to find out that I would be receiving a new fairy tale book to review.

This fairy tale book by Barefoot Books is big (11¼ x 9½ inches), hardbound (with a dust jacket), and illustrated in full color. It contains 12 fairy tales. But this is definitely not your typical fairy tale book. A few of the tales had familiar titles ("Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Rumpelstiltskin"), but the stories were very different from the ones that I am familiar with. The rest of the tales were ones that I had never heard of before ( "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," "The Girl Who Became a Fish," "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship," "The Jeweled Sea," "The Celestial Sisters," "The Magic Ball," "Snow-White and Rose-Red," and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves"). My 7-year-old daughter and I greatly enjoyed reading one tale per night. She enjoyed the stories and the pictures, while I enjoyed flipping to the back of the book after each tale and reading the section titled "Sources for the Stories." This section briefly tells the origin of each fairy tale (country, original author, etc.), and I found it very interesting.

This is truly a lovely book of fairy tales, and it would make a great gift, as well as a keepsake book for your home collection. Because it's so different from other fairy tale books I have seen, it would be great for that hard-to-by-for, has-it-all child on your gift list.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2008