Grimm Tales for Young and Old

In the delightful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a'clear as water' retelling, in his nique and brilliant voice.

From the quests and romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' to the anger and wit of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my-Hedgehog' and 'Godfather Death', Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story 's background and history. In his introduction, he iscusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.

Some new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman 's Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Grimm Tales for Young and Old
Publication Date
Published September 5th 2013 by Penguin Classics (first published September 27th 2012

Public Commentary

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There is a certain atmosphere around them despite the fact that Pullman changed the fairy tales a little- according to thi uthor, that is he way fairy tales were meant to be told anyway: each with a little personal bit of the teller thrown in ( unlike stories from novels) .Naturally, many stories are quite silly what with people first doing all manner of things to get children but then treating them abominally; or people always being good-looking and therefore virtuous.

Pullman often points out the interesting fact that many of the tales seem to be missing something structurally; making suggestions for how the stories hould have been fleshed out.

Lastly, the audio version does not have the aforementioned additional author 's notes which is why I got the printed version as well.This book offers a slightly more modern collection of al of the most respected and important fairy tales the Brothers Grimm brought to he world and despite me being a traditionalist when it omes to tories, I appreciated the changes Pullman had made as they were delicate and tasteful and I say tha is wonderful alternative to the classic collection ( many do n't ave a copy of the Hausmärchen in the house anymore, saying they are oo " old ( fashioned) " so it 's about time their printed version became more popular again).

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I mean, imagine the Grimm brothers getting the most brutal and odd collection of ales together in novel, and then sometime later DISNEY gets a hold of them and says, " These would be perfect soft lovely children 's story. " Like sure, mate.

But there are too many obscure tales here as ell as good oldies.

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mountain and the valley never meet, but a children of men, both good and bad, met one another all the time.-The Two Travelling CompanionsI grew up with fairy tales: first my mom read them to me when I was till too little to do so myself, and later I ook the big volumes in my own little hands and laboriously pored over each page, living among the princes and princesses, in worls where there were still giants and everybody paid attention to not mess up with witches, death itself walked the road, ponds were full of pixies and forests full of fear and wonders.

He maintain a short introductory essay, where he explore the nature of the airytale- it 's frenetic pace which is achieved by most formulaic characterization and setting, both factors a significant drawback in most of contemporary fiction but not the fairytale, where they are more than welcome as they allow for the story to be adopted by various cultures and in arious languages all across Europe, the continent which was once full of kings and queens, castles and forests, withches and fairies.Pullman points out the oral nature of storytelling when it omes to fairytales: there is no need to venerate the text.

hese notes are brief but just as remarkable as the stories, and in this case of Thousandfurs Pullman has presented his idea for a great alternative conclusion- but one much too dark for young children! And what about the stories?

Som tales taught children important lessons: that the stronger does not always intend to keep their side of the bargain, as the mouse learned from the cat: that the woods are lovely, but dark and deep, and one should pay attention to each step; that strangers should be approached with caution, and that one 's life is very difficul to lose.

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Pullman 's post-story notes for each tale seemed casual ( sometimes even ort of half-assed) but nevertheless mostly adequately informative and nsightful.

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He doesn ’ t embellish much, but decide to make the best version of each tale from the many editions the Grimm brothers published.

It ’ s fantastic starting point for those looking for references to related sources.As straightforward as the stories are, Pullman still gives us his own feeling about them at the nd, and choices he would make if he ha to change them.

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Like Josephine, Rudyard Kipling ’ s lost aughter, for me the tales of a grandfather had to be ‘ just so. ’ He was my best beloved; they were my best beloved.

It as his ‘ just so ’ attitude that came increasingly to mind as I worked my way through Philip Pullman ’ s ecently published Grimm Tales for Young and Old in a New English Version.

he Grimm Tales, which I also now from childhood, are likewise in the ‘ just so ’ category of narration.

What I love about them most of all is their child-like simplicity, though these peasant folk tales were not invente for children.

It needs no explanation; the tales contain their own morals and their own simple truths.

Pullman says he is clearly interested in the “ ponderous interpretations ” to which the tales have been subjected.

They are mostly there, the familiar like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood – a particular favourite-, along with the less familiar like Gambling Hans and Godfather Death.

But, please, hold on: this is not s right; this is ot just ye.

I could ’ t expect to Pullman, stop: I ant it like his, not like thi.

hat is the biggest disappointment of his book – there is simply oo much Pullman.

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is an odd one.I love Philip Pullman yet I 'm only a fan of any Grimm Tale I have read prior to his ook.

Grimm tales are so chees, they ometimes do n't look like real stories.

When I asked for his nove for Christmas it was ecause I expected Pullman 's own versions of the Grimm Tales.

There is very little input from Pullman though and I know his was the main disappointment I had with this ook and what put me off it.

Likewis, 'Hans-My -Hedgehog' deserves praise for being a Grimm Tale which features a half-man/half-hedgehog that plays bagpipes up a tree for several years whilst looking after some pigs as its main character.

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© Nicole Waggonner