It is almost impossible to envision what childhood would be like without the enchanting world of fairyland. Princes and princesses, kings and queens, giants and dwarfs, monsters and magicians, fairies and ogres — these are the companions who thrill young boys and girls of all lands and all times, as Andrew Lang's phenomenally successful collections of stories have proved. From the day that they were first printed, the Lang fairy books of many colors have entertained thousands of boys and girls, as they have also brought pleasure to the many parents who have read these unforgettable classics to their children.
The Crimson Fairy Book contains a fascinating collection of tales from many countries: Hungary, Russia, Rumania, Finland, Iceland, Japan, and Sicily are only some of them. Filled with imagination, excitement, and adventure, these tales will delight children with their illogical yet strangely reasonable events, and will offer parents a pleasant change from the well-worn favorites. One story — "The Cottager and His Cat" — tells of how cats were introduced into Iceland; another Japanese tale — "The Crab and the Monkey" — tells how a crab gets the best of a roguish monkey; and a remarkable tale — "Little Wildrose" — from Rumania tells how a beautiful child was reared in an eagle's nest.
All in all, the collection contains 36 stories, all narrated in the clear, lively prose for which Lang was famous. Not only are Lang's generally conceded to be the best English versions of standard stories, his collections are the richest and widest in range. His position as one of England's foremost folklorists as well as his first-rate literary abilities make his collections unmatchable in the English language.