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Posted March 13, 2001
An exquisitely illustrated collectio
Neil Philip not only tells us the classic tales such as 'Sleeping Beauty,' 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'Cinderella,' he also includes a world of tales from South America, the Far East, Asia and Australia. These are traditional stories which have been told by firesides and hearths for centuries. Nilesh Mistry's illustrations are so beautiful, you must see them to believe it. Fairies with delicate pastel wings, haunting castles, beautiful maidens eating oranges, gnomes dancing by bonfires, Persian gardens, horses riding through fire, sly wolves, purple headed dragons and green demons are just some of the enchanting images. This is the second book he has illustrated. The first one is called 'The Illustrated Book of Myths.' The details of the landscape, costume and building design of each country was considered and makes the illustrations all the more magical and authentic. The origin of each story is given on the contents pages. The stories are grouped together with other stories which have similar themes. Stories in which characters fall under a spell are in the first section. Poor heroes hoping to make their fortunes follows. The last section includes stories in which love conquers all. Neil Philip has a Ph.D in myth and folklore and has a great talent for giving insight into the cultural background of each story. Many stories have changed over time, yet they still hold true to the basic premise that evil is punished and good is rewarded. Fairy tales are filled with magic and wonder. They do in fact cast a spell on the reader. Enter this world of talking animals, magical creatures, evil witches, princes and maidens. These stories have lived in the minds of man since the beginning of history. Gifted story tellers on every continent have contributed to the richness of these enthralling visions. Look for the elements of truth in the stories. Secretly, I think adults enjoy these stories just as much as children do.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.