» Book of British Fairy Tales
Fairy Tales Folk Tales and Myths
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by Alan Garner
Fairy Tales Folk Tales & Myths
Collins (July 18, 1988)
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A reprint of this collection of British fairy tales, first published in 1984. Illustrations drawn and cut by Derek Collard.
The title of this book is A Book of British Fairy Tales by Alan Garner. It is a short story book with 21 short stories.
The stories in the book are all related because they all are based back in time a long time ago. Also most of the stories have to do with death and marriage. In most of the stories there is a princess or a daughter of a king who has to do something or have some one else do something or else they will die. There are also a lot of mythical creatures like giants, bogarts, water monsters, and a lot of others too. One of my favorite stories is "The Seawife and the Crone". It is about a fisher who had been having a lot of bad luck and a sea creature (seawife) who comes out of the water and agrees to send him plenty of fish in exchange for the fisher's youngest son when he turned three. The story is the adventure that takes place after the fisher regrets his deal and doesn't bring his son to the Seawife. During the adventure the son finds a carcass of a sheep and decides to feed it to three animals; an eagle, an otter, and a wolf. Later in the story you can see how the eagle, otter, and wolf repay the son and fisherman by helping them.
Another one of my favorite stories in the book is "The Golden Ball". In this story, three daughters of a queen are given each one golden ball; they take the balls every were they go because if they loose the golden ball, they shall have to be hung. Well, the littlest of the three lost here golden ball at the park in a house; she tossed the golden ball up, up, up at the park and it went over a paling and rolled in to the house. The lad was going to be hung but a man said that he would go and get the golden ball for the girl; and marry her of course. So the guy went into the house and in the house there was a lady that said if the lad slept in the house for three straight days. But if the man moved while the bugs were on him then he wouldn't get the golden ball; after that, she would give the man the golden ball. So he slept in the house on the ground for two nights with insects crawling all over him. On the third night there were bogarts under the bed and they had the golden ball so he got the ball but will he get back in time? Read and find out!
I would rate the book a four out of a possible five because the stories were interesting but some of the stories didn't really make scents. I think Alan Garner has a great style of writing; for instance, he uses other names for things that we don't usually use here in America. These tales are much different then the tales that we have in America.
I own a great copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, which is much more comprehensive, but this book is great for another reason. The style that this book is written in is unique because it is meant to mimic oral storytelling. I love that this is the whole premise for the book. Also, the illustrations for this lovely book are just superb. They're so vivid and imaginative. I had to stop and look at those gorgeous woodcuts at the beginning and end of each story for a good bit, just trying to appreciate the artistry. Wonderful book! I highly recommend it.
An excellent preservation of folk tales. It is written using the language of the people -- lots of oddities of phrasing and strange spellings to accentuate pronunciation. The book itself is top quality. The copy I received had some water damage on the first couple of pages, unfortunately.
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