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Children's LiteratureThis oversized, lavishly produced collection includes ten well-loved fairy tales: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Tom Thumb, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, and the Three Little Pigs. Gustafson explains in an illustrator's note that the book's seventy-five paintings were over a decade in the making, with some of the "largest and most complex paintings" taking "up to three months to complete." The result is a visual feast of rich and detailed splendor: Goldilocks sleepily stretching in the little bear's bed, surrounded by the astonished (and well-dressed) bear family; a shy Red Riding Hood, clutching her small bouquet of wild flowers, about to be gobbled by a most convincing wolf, luxuriating under Grandmother's hand-stitched quilt; Snow White presiding over the elaborately carved cottage of the Seven Dwarfs. No attribution of any kind is provided for the text, however, presumably taken from common-domain retellings—but which ones? from which sources? While the stories for the most part are told in a familiar, classic style, every once in a while there is some jarring addition, as when the frog prince snuggles down next to the princess on her silken bed, and asks her, "Don't you love sleepovers?" One would have liked to have seen the words of these beloved tales presented with some of the evident care lovingly bestowed upon the illustrations. 2003, Greenwich Workshop Press, Ages all.
— Claudia Mills