Challenge 2, Last Part (I promise): Fairytale Collections

How did you do with the Fairytale Challenge? Did you find some you and your children liked? If you started this challenge back around Valentine’s Day, you’re probably ready to move on, but there are just so many different variations in this genre, I wanted to give plenty of time for exploration. If you haven’t had a chance, just jump in and do it now.

Here are a few more recommendations. I think having one compilation or anthology is a great idea for ease and variety, and they usually tend toward a specific age level.

Fairy tale anthologies we like; Yummy is especially good for the youngest listeners
Fairy tale anthologies we like

Yummy by Lucy Cousins is particularly good for older toddlers and preschoolers because of the simple retellings and bright illustrations, but be warned that Cousins doesn’t shy away from the typical fairytale violence. The other three shown here are better for elementary aged children; there are less illustrations and longer retellings.

As with all books you read with your children, you want to preview the text/illustrations before reading, so that you know if there is something coming in the text that you don’t think your child can handle. I think fairytales, wonderful as they are, call for a little vigilance because, as we all know, fairytales can be sometimes creepy, gory and/or disturbing, depending on the author’s retelling. At the same time, remember that children like the idea of good and evil being very clearly defined, as it makes it easier to understand the consequences (death, punishment) of evil.

Tomie dePaola's Favorite Nursery Tales is a favorite for younger children; A Handful of Beans is nice for the older set.
Tomie dePaola’s Favorite Nursery Tales is perfect for younger children; A Handful of Beans is nice for the older set.

Here are a couple other collections (above). Tomie dePaola’s Favorite Nursery Tales is great for toddlers and preschoolers. If you like your fairytales a little tamer for your younger ones (understandable), this one fits the bill, but it’s still a wonderful collection with his classic illustrations. A Handful of Beans by Jeanne and William Steig is a great little collection of 6 tales that works best for elementary age children. Both of these have plenty to offer for both boys and girls, too.

One more book I want to share with you is Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella, by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis.

glass slipper

This is such a neat book–you NEED to check it out, especially for your older children (1st grade and up, for sure). In this, Fleischman combines many variations of the Cinderella story from across the world into one book, and Paschkis illustrates in ways that represent the different cultures being represented. It is so interesting and is guaranteed to make you and your children want to learn more about the various versions of this timeless story!

I will issue a new challenge next week, so in the meantime, if there were any fairytales you intended to try and didn’t, go to it! On a personal note, I’ve been happily busy with a project through my son’s elementary school. Do you know what this thing is?


Ever since I heard about Little Free Libraries a few years ago, I have wanted one in my neighborhood. They are just a simple way to get good books into the hands of families in the community. You take a book, and leave a book for someone else. Now we have one in front of my son’s school, and I am so privileged to be the steward (which just means I help keep books in it and take care of the structure itself). If you’re interested in getting one in your community, you can learn more about it at

IMG_1684  IMG_1679

We are so excited about it! You can also check on their website to see if there are any existing Little Free Libraries near you.

Okay, now go check out a fairytale collection, maybe even buy one; you won’t regret it. I got my Tomie dePaola collection (from above) for probably $3 at a consignment sale (I always go to the book section, go figure), and my Random House Book of Fairy Tales (from the first picture) I got at a local used book warehouse for FIFTY CENTS (I still can’t believe that one).

Happy reading!


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