Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Once Upon a Time..

Today is 'National Tell A Fairy Tale Day'.
 I'm not sure who made this day up but if it gets children reading and adults enjoying and sharing fairy tales of their own childhood with their offspring then it cant be bad. It was also nice to hear fairy tales being discussed on the radio (which is how I found out about this little day).

When I was little I was given a copy of 'Dean's Gift Book of Fairy Tales'

Published in 1967 it was full of crazy, colourful and slightly sinister illustrations of all the best loved fairy tales.  I remember being quite scared by a particular illustration of the genie in Aladdin

No fluffy bunny images for 1960s children.

How about Hansel and Gretel

 Oh yes those poor sad eyed children who starting tucking into the ginger bread house of an old witch.  Hansel of course gets put in a cage and his sister is forced to cook food for her brother to fatten him up so the witch can have a hearty meal of young boy. All wholesome fun.

And we all love a witch in a fairy tale, how about this horned, bat winged minx from Sleeping Beauty:

There is also the two dandy robbers from Babes in the Wood who were paid to take the children away and kill them (not a very PC start to a children's story):

But don't despair, "Jane and Thomas thought the robbers looked very gay, with their colourful clothes and feathered hats" and rightly so, the kindest of the robbers decided not to kill them but to leave them in the woods instead.   Just don't read this one to children with separation anxiety.

My original copy of this book was given away many moons ago so I was chuffed to bits to find a copy of it in a charity shop. I will be sharing a fairy tale with my son this evening at bed time, although I might not scare the bejesus out of him with Aladdin's genie though *wink*

What is your favourite childhood fairy tale?

Before I go, I would like to say a massive thank you for your comments on my last post. I was welcomed back into blogland a treat. To be honest i was touched that you still had my blog on your read lists.  I'm so happy to be back in touch with all my bloggy friends so big love to you all.


  1. Those Deans books were actually real treasures. The illustrations may look a little dated these days (very seventies) but they were so detailed and colourful. I'm not sure it's officially Tell a Fairy Tale Day in UK, but you have just made it so...well done!

  2. I loved Rapunzel with her lovely long hair!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. I have a full collection of Ladybird fairy tales collected from boot sales and charity shops before ebay. Took me 6 years. I'm fondest of The Elves and The Shoemaker but if the house catches fire I'm grabbing them all. ;)

  4. How wonderful it must have been to find that book and all the memories that come with it! I think Cinderella was my fave, I liked the idea of the pumpkin carriage. Your book reminds me a little bit of my own book of fairy tales which I wrote about here: http://www.lucyintheclouds.com/2013/01/beautiful-books.html although I'm pleased to say the pics in mine aren't anywhere near as frightening! xx

  5. Isn't it fun to find another copy of one of your childhood books, long after you've grown up and thought you forgot all about it? Oh, the memories it brings back. I found a whole set of books on eBay like ones I had as a child and bought them to read to my grandsons. Your book is wonderful.

  6. I remember reading from those books to my children ! must have scared them to death !

  7. Red Riding Hood was mine, I even had a T-shirt with it printed on. I think everyone was wearing those T-shirts in the 70's. They would be quite cool and retro now xx

  8. I didn't have this one, but I did have some terrifying Hans Christien Andersson book with equally spooky illustrations. Always unnerved me a bit!

  9. Fabulous illustrations. I think kids enjoy being scared in a contained kind of way - mine certainly do!
    I do love vintage kids' books, can't resist them in charity shops...
    Of course you were welcomed back, you've been missed! xxx

  10. What gorgeous illustrations - I love their spooky dark feel too! Marvellous!

  11. Oh fun to have found a copy of your childhood fairy tale book. I kept the books I read to my children and now am passing them on to my Grands! My favorite story is Snow White! hugs, Linda

  12. I'm sure I had this book when I was little too.
    When you get a chance, could you send me your address please Scarlett (and your husband's name) Thank you x

  13. That's the second time I've seen that book on a blog this week, freaky! I know I grew up with it too, love the illustrations. x

  14. I love the old illustrations of your book. I can't wait until my grandkids are here this week. Perhaps, I could read them a story.

  15. Fantastic illustrations! Amazing how the books you see and read as a child stick with you.

  16. It's so lovely to have you back scarlett, truth be told l have been waiting and hoooping for your return :-). Ooff...l remember the babes in the wood! I remember thinking though: how on earth did they manage to die in just one night?! I could habe survived THAT! ;-). Remember my mother would never tell me the story of Bluebeard - so as soon as l could read l red it myself to see what was so awful :-). My overall favourite story was Pinkel and the witch! Pam x

  17. Love the illustrations! WTH have you been at?


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