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Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies

Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies

4.5 6
by Jane Werner, Garth Williams (Illustrator)
THIS WHIMSICAL AND charming collection of stories and poems was first published in 1951. Now a new generation of fairy fans can search for lost merbabies, bargain with pixies, and frolic under the moon with Jane Werner’s fantastic selection of “wee folk” tales, masterfully illustrated by Garth Williams.


THIS WHIMSICAL AND charming collection of stories and poems was first published in 1951. Now a new generation of fairy fans can search for lost merbabies, bargain with pixies, and frolic under the moon with Jane Werner’s fantastic selection of “wee folk” tales, masterfully illustrated by Garth Williams.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
This collection of songs, poems, and folk tales highlight the "wee folk" that live amidst the plants and may only appear at night. The stories include a Swedish one about silver slippers, a lost merbaby, a lonely little boy that befriends a brownie, and a pixie's scarf being traded for jewels that are also marbles. Some of the poems are seasonal, such as "Song for a Summer Evening" or the "Halloween Song." Garth Williams' illustrations are colorful and work especially well with the poems and songs. In some instances, however, his drawings do not quite fit with the story's events. Jane Werner and Garth Williams' stories may work better with the smaller format found in the "Little Golden Books" rather than this larger format. If one wants to have a collection of Williams' illustrations, this collection is a good one. Kindergartners and first graders would enjoy the beautiful and detailed animals and children. Unfortunately, many of the stories either end too quickly or are confusing, since they happen in a different country or time period. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
A Golden Classic Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 13.10(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jane Werner had a long and prolific association with Golden Books. Writing under a dozen different names, she was the author and/or editor of more than 70 books.

Garth Williams was a renowned children’s book illustrator. His work is easily recognizable in the classic Golden Books favorites The Sailor Dog, The Friendly Book, Mister Dog, and The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse.

Customer Reviews

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Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so grateful to see this wonderful title back in print, but when I received my three copies today 'for the young children in my family', I was surprised to discover some formating and artistic differences between them and my 1951 edition. First, and most significantly, the color palette of Garth Williams' beautiful illustrations is very different in this edition. Colors are consistently less intense, more pastel, and considerably more blue in tone, with diminished warm yellows and other warm tints. Some pictures look washed-out, with an oddly blotchy appearance to solid colored areas, and some of the edges have been slightly trimmed. Much of the richness of the original illustrations is lacking in this new edition. I would be interested in learning whether Garth Williams' original art work was rephotographed for this new edition, or if these pictures were reproduced from old plates. I suspect the latter. Color printing has changed entirely since 1951, with the advent of computers and the elimination of four-color separations done by the artists. The current edition of '...Elves and Fairies' was printed in China. The paper in the 2008 edition is dead white, clay-coated and slightly glossy, unlike the higher-acid and softer, matte, more absorbent paper which was used previously. The aging of the earlier paper and different content and texture of the new paper may account for some of the differences in the colors - but not all. The warm yellows of the original are almost entirely gone, which of course affects not only the various shades of yellow and gold, but also reds and in particular, and most regretfully, the many beautiful shades of green which graced the earlier edition. The present dust jacket looks almost turquoise, while the 1951 cover 'the dust jacket of my 1951 edition is long gone' is closer to jade green. This change continues within the book itself. The former richness and depth of color is very lacking in this edition. Many, but not all of the illustrations 'including those on the dust jacket and cover' are now slightly smaller than those in the earlier edition. Most of the text appears in a single column, rather than in two columns as before, and no doubt some of the reformatting of the illustrations is because of this change. Unfortunately, in a few cases this means that details are lost in the centerfold. Oddly, the pagination remains the same. Some of the poems continue to be printed in two columns. Whoever redesigned '...Elves and Fairies' is unnamed in this new edition. I cannot see that anything positive was gained by this change. However, I found the changes in the color palette to be quite jarring - I love my older edition, which I frequently used during storytimes during my long career as a children's librarian. Without fail, children always commented on the beautiful pictures. Now, the impact of those gorgeous, imaginative, magical pictures is considerably lessened. I would love to see Garth Williams' original watercolor illustrations for this much-loved book. It appears to me that his artistic intent is not realized by this particular edition of 'Elves and Fairies', which amounts to a breaking of the pact between illustrator, publisher - and the reading audience. Beatrix Potter's original illustrations were rephotographed and her books republished with the new results a number of years ago. Her readers were stunned at the added detail, precision and colors thus revealed. Perhaps someday a still-later edition of 'The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies' will be given similar, much-deserved treatment by the publisher. Meanwhile, I am still delighted to see an old friend, even if that friend's complexion does look a little pale and travel-worn now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my earliest memory of a book from my childhood. The covers were off by the time it got to me circa 1959~60. I remember the beautiful back cover of the tree full of faerie windows and doors. I first fell in love with it as a pre-reader. Garth Williams magical illustrations drew me into this gentle 'other world'. This was the book that made me want to learn how to read. I minored in Children's Literature in college because of my love of all the wonderful books in my life and I have grieved the loss of this book for many years. I remember only bits and pieces of the many stories, but recall clearly how much I loved it. I have looked for copies but originals are out of my price range and am delighted that it will finally be reprinted. I could not share it with my own children, but will have it for my students and grandchildren.
NoniKR More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was very young and it was one of the first books I remember that was read to me. That is a long time ago. The illustrations are wonderful and immerse the reader and listener in a totally different world, a bit scary at times but comforting and joyous as a whole. I gave this to my granddaughter as a special gift for us to share and build our own memories together.
ibelieveinfairies More than 1 year ago
This may well be my favorite book ever, and I am a 66 year old avid reader. It was my favorite book when I was little, and had a big part in my love of reading. The illustrations are amazing. This is how I have always pictured fairies. The poetry and stories are charming and a little different. I give this book as a gift as often as I can. Get it and read it to your kids and grandkids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago