The books I’m sharing with you today contain classic stories written by Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm. These were re-imagined by beloved and talented artists like Michael Rosen and Mitsumasa Anno. I hope that you’ll find these titles worth adding to your growing treasury of stories!
Re-imagined by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Talleen Hacikyan
Published by Tradewind Books (2013)
“Michael Rosen and Talleen Hacikyan join forces to portray some of Aesop’s most famous fables in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Loyal dogs, tricky foxes and powerful lions are only a part of the large cast of animals that helps teach children age-old life lessons.”
The photo above was taken from “Mosquito, Lion and Spider.” The book contains 13 of Aesop’s stories as well as the moral of each story. Aesop’s Fables is the shortest book in this set, with the usual 32 pages of a picture book.
Re-imagined by Mitsumasa Anno
Published by Orchard Books (1989)
“Readers will find here the classic versions of such stories as The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Fox and the Grapes and dozens of other favorites to be enjoyed as they have been for more than twenty-five hundred years. In addition, they will find the new tales that clever Mr. Fox ‘reads’ to his son. The richly detailed pictures on each page delightfully illustrate both stories at once with clear-eyed but affectionate views of people and animals.”
Expect no less from an innovative artist such as Mitsumasa Anno. This collection is packed with stories that Mr. Anno has selected. There are over 35 stories and each page is filled with text and gorgeous illustrations. If you like stories within stories, then you’ll like Anno’s Aesop.
Tales from the Brothers Grimm
Illustrated by Herbert Leupin
Published by NorthSouth Books (2015)
“World-renowned poster designer, Herbert Leupin, has illustrated these classic Brothers Grimm fairytales… imbuing each with the humor and innovation, graphic simplicity, and colorful palette for which his posters and designs are famous.”
This treasury features nine tales from the Brothers Grimm including the more popular titles, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty. The illustrations in this book will delight not only children but also adults who grew up reading newspaper comics and older cartoons. Leupin’s drawings are reminiscent of that era. Journalist Sieglinde Geisel wrote about Herbert Leupin’s creative process in the Afterword.
Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
Translated by Naomi Lewis
Illustrated by Joel Stewart
Published by Candlewick Press (2004)
“Hans Christian Andersen called his life a fairy tale, but as Naomi Lewis points out in her introduction, ‘Fairy tales also have their darker side.’ But of course, it is these dark moments that are among the most memorable aspects of his work… Irresistible humor, beguiling conversational style, the invention of giving speech to objects… the hallmarks of Hans Christian Andersen’s style are to be found here in abundance, their brilliance undiminished by time.”
Is it too obvious if I say that this is my favorite book in this set? Dark fairy tales are fun to read and imagine. I was enthralled by Joel Stewart’s illustrations, which reminded me of illustrations in Abarat (Clive Barker) and The Mysterious Benedict Society (Carson Ellis). This is the kind of book I’d love to revisit at bedtime.