Friday, February 28, 2014

The Blue Fairy Book (Hesperus Press)

With the introduction of Common Core, lack of God in public schools, and growing safety concerns, the homeschooling movement is growing stronger in the United States. I for one am thrilled as children are once again being taught Latin and Greek. It is also great because publishers are starting to re-print some classic works. However, they will only continue to print these works if we support them and buy their titles. Hesperus Press was generous enough to send me two works, The Blue Fairy Book and The Red Fairy Book to review.

If you're like me, you probably grew up on fairy tales. We live in a Disney society of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc. But have you ever taken the time to read the actual fairy tales? The Brothers Grimm? Hans Christian Andersen? There are some similarities between Disney and Grimm, but the differences is where the beauty is. In this reprint of a classic, Andrew Lang gathered fairy tales from around the world, edited, and compiled them into different fairy books.

For those who have not read these fairy tale books before, I will reference "Beauty and the Beast." Mr. Lang draws this tale from Mme de Villenvue, and it is quite different than the Disney version. For starters, Beast wasn't a bratty and spoiled prince, but cursed by an evil fairy. Beauty (not called Belle in this version) is not an only child, but has many brothers and sisters. She is the son of a merchant, who had Job-like misfortunes and lost everything. Ultimately Beauty and the Beast end up together (like Disney), but the story read better than Disney could have imagined.

For those familiar with Andrew Lang's work, you already know about the quality of the writing and probably want to know about the quality of the physical book. In a word, the book is superb. It's hardcover, with a vibrant blue dust jacket. The pages are of a nice thickness, and it contains original artwork from the original works. I've seen other editions of this work from other publishers, and I would pick the Hesperus Press one every time. It is built to stand the test of time and wear and will look beautiful on your shelf! I just hope they continue to print the rest of the series, but they can only do that if we buy the two that are already out. So if you are looking for a wonderful, quality book on fairy tales to read to your children, grab both The Blue Fairy Book and The Red Fairy Book from Hesperus Press.

I received this book for free from Hesperus Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes!