Sunday, October 11, 2009

NEWSFLASH: Great Fairytales Series from The Guardian - A Must Read!

Note: I came across this series completely at random and was already into doing this blog post when I realized both SurLaLune and The Fairy Tale Cupboard have reported on it so rather than bore you with lots of repetitious information in case you're reading their blogs [which are both excellent sources of fairy tale information and news, so you should be :) ], I'll just point you to their entries and repeat how wonderful a thing this is and that you should avail yourself of the read and lovely pictures either in person or online. :)

For those who haven't yet heard, The (UK) Guardian and Observer, are including seven wonderful supplements over the next week titled "Great Fairytales". The series includes an essay by a notable fairy tale writer on a theme and then a collection of tales on that theme for each part, with special illustrations for each section by wonderful artists.Here's the blurb on the series from The Guardian online:

Starting this weekend in the Guardian and the Observer, Great fairytales brings you the finest stories of morality, justice, triumph and enchantment from around the world, collected in seven themes: Wicked parents, Rags to riches, Love, Quests and riddles, Wisdom and folly, Justice and punishment and Beastly tales.

The stories are all nominated by a panel of critics, writers and experts on children's literature: Anthony Browne, AS Byatt, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Robert Irwin, Alison Lurie, Adam Phillips, Philip Pullman, Salman Rushdie and Marina Warner.

Each collection is beautifully illustrated and includes an afterword from a range of leading writers exploring each theme.

This is such a treat! And I love the discussions on theme, meaning and fairy tales in comparison to history which you don't see often outside of academic works. For those of us unable to go buy the paper (and that includes any readers outside the UK) we can:

1) read the series online for free every day (START HERE - the link should have ALL the Guardian's fairy tale related posts for you to browse - this particular series starts October 10th, 2009 & consists of one essay and approximately three tales with illustrations - in separate posts - per day)

2) buy the booklets online HERE (shown at bottom of post).

Heidi of SurLaLune has included a brief excerpt of the first essay as well as other interesting tidbits and you can see some more of the lovely silhouette work by Laura Barrett, all of which you can find HERE.

Claire Massey of The Fairy Tale Cupboard has done a wonderful job of taking us through the first two supplements, complete with excellent links. I highly recommend reading her write-ups this week as she looks at the writers, the tales and the artists involved with each part of the series. To go straight to The Fairy Tale Cupboard click HERE.
NOTE: All silhouette illustrations (2 for Hansel & Gretel and 2 for Snow White) are by the amazing Laura Barrett who's work was commissioned for Part 1 of the series. You can find more of her work at her website HERE or by clicking on the illustrations - I highly recommend checking this link out. Her website is lovely and her work gorgeous!
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