It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Old witches in cloaks of gold, giants that turn into dwarfs, tears that become birds, monsters and magicians, ogres and fairies—these are the companions who thrill young boys and girls of all lands and 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 Orange Fairy Book delves into the oral traditions of Rhodesia, Uganda and the American Indians; the traditions of the Punjab and of Jutland; and such familiar European sources as Hans Christian Andersen (The Ugly Duckling) and Madame d'Aulnoy (The White Doe) for its 33 stories. But it is not important that the lad climbing the tree to a cloud kingdom is an Indian brace rather than Jack, or that the giant-killer Makoma is African. The events are familiar favorites with children the world over.
All the tales are 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.
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