It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres — these are the companions who will thrill young boys and girls of all lands and all times, as Andrew Lang’s phenomenally successful collections of stories have proved. From the day that they were first printed, the Lang fairy tale books of many colors have entertained thousands of boys and girls, as they have also brought pleasure to the many parents who have read these unforgettable classics to their children.
The Blue Fairy Book was the first volume in the series and so it contains some of the best known tales, taken from a variety of sources: not only from Grimm, but exciting adventures by Charles Perrault and Madame d’Aulnoy, The Arabian Nights, and other stories from popular traditions. Here in one attractive paperbound volume — with enlarged print — are “Sleeping Beauty,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Puss in Boots,” “Trusty John,” “Jack the Giantkiller,” “Goldilocks,” and many other favorites that have become an indispensable part of our cultural heritage.
All in all, this collection contains 37 stories, all narrated in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang’s generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England’s foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities makes his collections unmatchable in the English language.