It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres—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 Rainbow Fairy Book draws from all of the different volumes in the series, with more than thirty fairy tales illustrated by Michael Hague.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up-Thirty-one stories from Lang's various color fairy-tale books have been brought together in this lavishly produced volume. With a few exceptions, the selections are the best known European fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Three Pigs," and "Cinderella." The watercolor illustrations look as if Hague has tried to re-create the appearance of a fairy-tale anthology from an earlier era. The success is mixed. The colors are dense and have a peculiar garish yet blurred quality. The pencil drawings are more enticing and lively. They are skillfully done with a light and airy touch which, nevertheless, makes the most of the grotesqueries of the tales. The stories are readily available in single volumes or other collections, and the illustrations are not exciting enough to justify a first purchase. The effect of the whole is of a coffee-table book for children.
Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-6, younger for reading aloud. These 31 folktales and fairy tales were selected by artist Hague from Lang's Colored Fairy Books. Included are many of the more traditional tales from Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and Perrault--among them, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "Rumpelstiltskin," and "Cinderella." Hague also gives a nod toward cultural inclusiveness, incorporating such tales as "The Snake Prince" from India, "The Hero Makoma" from Zimbabwe, and "Hok Lee and the Dwarfs" from China. The majority of the tales can easily be located in other collections, but they won't be so easily found grouped together as they are in this fine book. Hague has a real talent for recalling the feeling of the old masters who illustrated children's books, and he surpasses himself here with 23 full-color plates and 41 black-and-white pencil drawings. The juxtaposition of well-known and lesser-known tales with such handsome artwork results in a strong anthology that will have a multitude of uses. Janice Del Negro
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