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Main page » Black Hole » The Companion to Fairy Tales

The Companion to Fairy Tales


This comprehensive guide is as wonderfully thorough and cross-referenced as we've come to expect from the Oxford Companions, and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any lover of children's literature or films. Arranged alphabetically, The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales covers authors, illustrators, individual titles, and countries of origin for the fairy tales of Europe, from medieval times through the era of Walt Disney. Each entry is handily marked with asterisks when there's a related section to read; "The Little Mermaid" has asterisks highlighting both Hans Christian Anderson and Disney, while the larger section of Victorian Fairy Painting has 19 asterisks in its three pages of text. While authors and stories generally don't get more than a few paragraphs of detail, you'll find the quantity of entries most impressive. Beyond standard fairy tales, authors of classic children's literature and adult fantasy are often included, if their works rely in any way on earlier myths or tales--Terry Pratchett and Maurice Sendak are two examples. Larger sections devoted to regional differences are lengthy and fascinating, and they include Portugal, Spain, France, North America, Britain, and Italy. The book also has plenty of illustrations. While they're all in black and white, the variety of artistic styles is wonderful, and each plate is large enough to show charming details of giants, maidens, witches, and all the classic characters of these beloved stories. Whether your heart lies with Edward Gorey or Kate Greenaway, you're sure to enjoy the facts behind your favorite tale.

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Tags: Tales, Fairy, Companion, Oxford, provides