Jacob and his brother, Wilhelm, Grimm were German academics who collected German folk tales. These collections were revised and re-published until they contained over 200 tales. Although originally called 'Children's Tales', they were much criticised for this owing to their content!
There are many re-tellings of these stories including well known favourites like Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel and lesser known tales like 'Iron Hans'.
Set in the seventies, this lively re-telling is a beautifully illustrated, humorous version of the classic tale. Platform shoes, chopper bikes and ceramic flying ducks add to the period feel and are sure to make parents' smile! Rapunzel lives in an old, deserted tower block with her aunt, Edna, who is an evil dinner lady!
Rapunzel re-told by Lynn Roberts; illustrated by David Roberts
Pavilion Children's Books ISBN: 978-1843651826
One of the lesser known stories, this re-telling is adorned with finely detailed illustrations by Marilee Heyer. A little prince is taken away from his family by Iron Hans, a dangerous wild man, who is actually a King under enchantment. Sent to make his own way in the world, he takes a job as a gardener at the palace where soon the princess falls in love with him. With Iron Hans' help, the young prince leads an army to battle and wins her hand in marriage.
Iron Hans illustrated by Marilee Heyer Puffin ISBN: 978-0140507539
A beautifully dark and dangerous version of this classic tale, Neil Gaiman's text is perfectly complemented by Lorenzo Mattotti's haunting illustrations. The book ends with a fascinating note about the origins of the story and it is the original tale that Gaiman draws on for his re-telling. For example, it is the children's mother, not step-mother who wants to abandon the children.
Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
Bloomsbury ISBN: 978-1408861981
This lovely re-telling has the most beautiful illustrations by Jane Ray, using shades of green and gold throughout. This is perhaps one of the best loved of the brothers' tales and this version is certainly one worth reading. It is part of a series of fairy tales by this author/ illustrator pair.
The Frog Prince re-told by Berlie Doherty, illustrated by Jane Ray.
Walker ISBN: 978-1406329773
Writing and illustration come together again in this story to create the perfect book! Miss Clara's illustrations are magical and the characters created by the writing come to life through them. Just beautiful!
The Twelve Dancing Princesses re-told by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Miss Clara
Barefoot Books ISBN:978-184869655
Which is your favourite?