The Brothers Grimm: Wrap Up

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 8:58 am

I had grandiose plans of reading ALL of the Grimm’s fairy tales, but I’m awfully glad that I gave myself the out from the beginning. As it was, I read 22 of the tales and 14 picture book versions, listened to 1 audio retelling, and watched 2 video retellings. I posted reviews of the retellings – and have a half dozen half-written posts about the other tales I read.

I’ll post those someday – but for now, I’ll just list what I read:

Hansel and Gretel

I read and reviewed eight different picture book versions of this very famous tale.

Rumpelstiltskin

I read and reviewed four different picture book versions and a video retelling of this familiar tale.

King Thrushbeard

I found only one picture book version of this fun Taming-of-the-Shrew-esque story. I’d like to see more.

The Frog Prince

No kissing! Yay! I read one picture book version, listened to an audio version, and watched a video retelling (that I didn’t like at all.)

Stories published elsewhere

So, those Disney stories I watched/read as a child? I think most of them are probably drawn more from Perrault’s French version of the stories. But I did read the Grimm’s versions of “Puss in Boots” and “Cinderella”.

Less-Familiar Princesses

“Maid Maleen”: a Sleeping-Beauty-like tale, except with more twists. “The Skillful Huntsman”: a modest man slays figurative dragons (actually giants and maybe a pig?) and wins the princess’s hand. “The Princess in Disguise”: a Cinderella-like tale, except with more twists (including a really yucky incestuous promise.)

Tailor Tales

I read two different tales about tailors (generally clever but rather self-important men). “The Gallant Tailor” aka “The Brave Little Tailor” aka “The Valiant Tailor” aka “Seven at One Blow” is the one I remember from childhood. But there is also “The Giant and the Tailor”.

Stories with Adult Themes

Infidelity and wife-beating. Not exactly great material for children’s stories. Preview these before you share them with your kids: “The Little Farmer”, “Sharing Joy and Sorrow”, and “Old Hildebrand”.

Gruesome Tales

You’ve been warned that the Grimm’s are GRIM and are eager to mine the depths of their gruesomeness? Try “Fitcher’s Bird” and “The Robber Bridegroom”.

Create-your-own Fairy Tales

A few of the tales seemed incomplete, like they’re just waiting to be made into an episode in a Shrek-like fairy tale amalgam. Wanna try your hand at it? Read “The Golden Key”, “Sweet Porridge”, and “The Old Beggar Woman”.

Thumbling Tales

Actually three different tales: “Tom Thumb”, “Tom Thumb’s Travels”, and “The Young Giant”.

Miscellaneous Tales

“The Nail”, a moral tale. “Jew among Thorns”, an anti-Semitic tale (uncomfortable). “Clever Gretel”, with a not-so-nice protagonist. “The Singing Bone”, a Cain and Abel type tale. “Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie”, an incomprehensible courting story. “The Elves”, a Christmas story. “The Goose-Girl”, a rather goosey all-too-compliant gal who gets the guy in the end anyway.

Thanks to everyone for reading along – don’t forget to go to Reading to Know to link up what you read and to read others’ thoughts on The Brothers Grimm.

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Reader Comments (1):

  1. Barbara H. says:

    Nice round-up! I’d like to explore some of these that I haven’t gotten to yet.

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