Tag Archives: Philip Pullman

Grimm Tales: For Young and Old- Philip Pullman

Disclaimer: This book was given to me free of charge via netgally in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from Amazon)

In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a ‘clear as water’ retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice.

From the quests and romance of classics such as ‘Rapunzel’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella’ to the dangerand wit of such lesser-known tales as ‘The Three Snake Leaves’, ‘Hans-my-Hedgehog’ and ‘Godfather Death’, Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story’s background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.

These new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman’s Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.


I’ve read a version of The Brother’s Grimm fairytales before, for The Rory List. The collection (as with most) was not complete and I really saw what it was lacking from reading Pullman’s collection. Grimm Tales does not contain all of the fairy tales told by The Brother’s Grimm however it does highlight a number of stranger and/or less well known tales. I particularly liked the story of the bird, the sausage and the mouse, just for how absurd it was, although in terms of strangeness of story it probably wasn’t the strangest of all, more it just had the most unlikely characters.

Pullman tried to keep the tales as close as he could to how they had originally been recorded by The Brother’s Grimm but he did change a few things for clarity and flow and I found them easier to read than the former version I had read. Pullman also added little commentaries on each text where he talked about the stories, how they linked to other stories in folklore, things which had been said about the stories, and about how the Brother’s Grimm had already come across them. I felt this really added something to the stories and I found the commentary interesting to read.

I wouldn’t really recommend reading Grimm Tales in the way that I did, i.e. as a book rather than as individual stories. It’s probably better to dip in and out. At first (as you could probably tell from my twitter feed) I was really into it and commenting on pretty much every story. However after a while things began to get a bit samey and I started to loose interest.

In a way though reading all the stories together did help me see parallels which was quite interesting, and also helped the different end of tales information join together nicely when Pullman refereed to previous or future tales.

I would recommend this book but maybe wait for the paperback, or at least don’t try to read it all at once.


Buy it:

Kindle (£11.99)

Hardback (£10.00)

Other reviews:

If you have reviewed this book leave me a link and I will add it here


Filed under Children's, Classics, Fiction review, Short story

Bookish Bits

Newspapers yellow

Newspapers yellow (Photo credit: NS Newsflash)

Over the last week(ish) I’ve shared a fair bit over twitter and facebook which I’ve found around the internet. It occurred to me that it might actually be good to share it here too.

A sort of homage to Chrisbookarama’s Friday Bookish Buzz.

PanMacmillan are running a competition to have your handwriting turned into a font. Something strangely personal yet eternal about that idea.

Netgalley is looking for a UK based Community Manager. This sounds like an awesome job for a lot of bloggers, except that you have to live in London.

The Guardian looked at the effect being Booker nominee has on sales. Life of Pi has been the most popular in the data studied.

And on a less serious note they challenged authors to write a ‘twitter novel’ using no more than 140 characters. My favourite is Ian Rankin’s kind of funny.

I tweeted my way through the first half of Philip Pullman’s Grimm Fairy Tales. Seriously I think I have something to say about every story. My favourite so far has been The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage, simply for the absurdity of the situation.

And (hot off the presses) Hilary Mantel has won the 2012 Booker Prize for Bringing up the Bodies. Guess I should really move Wolf Hall up my TBR list now

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Filed under News

Top 10 Children’s Books

Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted every Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers compile lists of different top 10s. This week it’s a rewind where we pick any previous top 10 we missed. I’ve chosen:

Top Ten Children’s Books

1) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl Who doesn’t love a good Roald Dahl book? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite, I only wish Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory really existed, it would be tons better than Cadbury World. I just found out there’s a pop-up version of this too, how awesome.

2) Not Now Bernard- David McKee I found this book very funny as a child, the idea that a parent might not notice that their son has become a monster! As an adult I can appreciate things about it which I didn’t as a child.

3) A Squash and a Squeeze- Julia Donaldson This is one I discovered working in the nursery. I love how dramatic the old lady is.

4) Special Powers- Mary Hoffman This was my favourite book for years and years. I used to borrow it from the library again, and again, and again. I probably should have saved up my pocket money and bought it. I would quite like to own it now but I have a feeling it wouldn’t meet up to my memories.

5) His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman It’s been a few years since I last read about Lyra and her adventures, but I have re-read Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass if you live across the pond) more times than I can count. It was my favourite book for years. Even though it didn’t have such a big significance in my life I do actually prefer it to Harry Potter (Shock! Horror!).

6) Harry Potter 1-7- J.K. Rowling I’m sure it won’t take much browsing of my blog to realise how much I love Harry, and what an impact J.K’s books have had on my life. This blog probably wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t read Harry Potter.

7) Tom and Pippo- Helen Oxenbury another one I borrowed from the library again and again, this time when I was a pre-schooler. The tales of Tom and his toy monkey are cute and funny, and possibly where my obsession with monkeys came from.

8) The Alfie Stories- Shirley Hughes I loved the Alfie stories when I was little. I tried to share them with the toddlers at work recently, but I think maybe they were a little to young.

9) Bad Girls- Jacqueline Wilson I read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson books at the end of primary/beginning of secondary school. I think it was when I really started getting into ‘issue’ books. Bad Girls was my favourite.

10) Remembrance- Theresa Breslin was my favourite of a series of war books I read in my early teen years. I still have it on my shelves, and I’ve re-read it a few times. It still beats some of the adult war books I have since read.

11) (oops) The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien I thought I had finished my list then I thought of this one. I’ve never managed to finish Lord of the Rings but I loved The Hobbit. My Mum read it to my sisters and I when we were younger and I still associate it with snuggling up on my parent’s bed.

If you have enjoyed this post you may enjoy my Children’s Hour feature.



Filed under Memes, Top 10 Tuesday