4 out of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
It has been a long time since I have read any fairy tales to my children, or even to myself even. I even remember reading the classic stories way way back in my childhood too. These stories are still heard and seen regularly today, they can be seen in the pantos that follow the Christmas season and the plethora of animated movies (that I must admit I haven’t seen hardly any of)
These modern retellings of the fairy tales are often a more sanitised version of these are sometimes brutal stories. Probably the most famous names associated with these tales are the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, But some of the other famous stories were collected by people whose names are not as well known. I didn’t know the authors of the famous tales Hansell and Gretel and all of the Arabian Nights stories. Tracing the origins of them will take Jubber across the northern climes and then heading through the Black Forest, onto Southern Europe before arriving in the Middle East.
Each of the chapters begins with the story which we are going to learn about. Most of them I knew, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, but there are others in here that I had not come across before, such as The Tale of All Kinds of Fur and The Tale of the Firebird. We are taken through the known history behind them and how they came to be known to a wilder world.
I thought that Jubber has written a fascinating book, his prose is engaging and you can tell that he is obviously still captivated by the stories even today. He even manages to persuade his teenage friends to go to an animated film at the Bournemouth cinema one day rather than watch an action film. He tells captivating stories on how these came to be wider known in global culture and the little know background about the people that found these stories. If you have a thing for fairy tales and have always wondered where they came from this is a good book to start with. It has also made me want to reread the fairy tales of my childhood too.