10 best fairy tale books and crafts for kids

August 31, 2011

Fairy tales have quickly become Juliet's favorite bedtime books this year (she's four). We've found several really beautiful books that I wanted to share with you.
Cinderella by Marcia Brown is exquisitely illustrated (Caldecott Winner) and presents a Cinderella who is "as good as she is beautiful" and holds no hard feelings against her evil step-sisters. In the end, she invites them to live at the palace with her and has them married to two great lords of the court!

Not sure I would have done the same, but it's always nice to see kindness and forgiveness in action.

Craft: Cinderella's pumpkin carriage (We are definitely doing this in October!)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Laura Ljungkvist is a treat for the eyes. I love how her prince's skin is blue for "the color of the sky the morning he was born."

Craft: princess hand mirror (this is a link to a kit, but you could easily DIY this.)

The Twelve Dancing Princesses
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Brigitte Barrager is my favorite version of this tale. I love the princesse are all named after flowers and that the youngest, Poppy, is the one who marries the cobbler.

Craft: 12 Dancing princesses peg dolls (such a cute present!)

Sylvia Long's Thumbelina
Sylvia Long's Thumbelina is enchanting. Every page is breathtaking. We read this one A LOT.

Craft: Waterlilies (add a tiny doll to the lily pad and you're set!)

The Golden Book of Fairy Tales (Golden Classics)
The Golden Book of Fairy Tales  is one we recently checked out from our library. It's a large collection and we have not read all the stories yet. Some are familiar to me, while some I've never heard of. Since fairy tales sometimes have scary or mature content (death, evil, etc.) you may want to preview these before reading them to your preschooler.
3 Tales Retold and Illustrated
Edward Miller's 3 Tales Retold and Illustrated is a fun collection of stories. He spins them a bit--for example, Goldilocks apologizes for eating the porridge, breaking a chair, and sleeping in little bear's bed and then they all become good friends. This book is perfect for preschoolers.

Crafts: Three Little Pigs' Houses, Goldilocks and Three Bears party and crafts

The Three Billy Goats Gruff Big Book
The Three Billy Goats Gruff Big Book by Paul Galdone is my favorite version of this tale. Galdone's illustrations are my favorite (I collect his books!) and the story makes Juliet giggle.

Craft: Craft stick puppets

Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky was recommended to me after I mentioned I couldn't remember the story, but remembered being creeped out by it as a child. We checked it out and I remember why it creeped me out--Rumpelstiltskin is creepy--there is just no way around it. (However, these illustrations are fantastic--this is another Caldecott winner)

I was reluctant to read it to Juliet (for fear of scaring her), but Ben read it to her one night. She was not scared in the least.

In fact, she loved it. She thinks Rumpelstiltskin is funny.

She asks me to read it to her again and again.

Again, you know your child best--so you'll have to decide if it is something that would frighten her/him or not.

I found a less scary version of this tale at Goodwill last week. The little man doesn't look as sinister to me in these illustrations. However, it may be difficult to find a copy of this--I think I just got lucky. I googled it and found one listed on ebay for $24, but maybe you'll get lucky and stumble across on in your local thrift store. The princess is particularly beautiful in this version.

I couldn't find any Rumpelstiltskin crafts--I take that as a challenge. :)

The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories
And lastly, Jane Yolen's The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories is a beautiful collection of seven ballet stories (several which are based on fairy tales). The stories are pretty intense and generally involve someone dying, so I chose not to read it with Juliet yet (saving it for when she is older), but I have very much enjoyed reading it on my own this week! (No rule against mom's reading fairy tales on their own, is there?)

Craft: ballet handprint tutu (been wanting to try this one for awhile...)

(I know I already shared 10 books, but if you missed Monday's Rapunzel post--I think our paper tube princess tower is pretty fun and easy--especially if you have a Tangled fan on your hands.)

What about you? Do you have a favorite fairy tale to share with me? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

(Don't forget to enter my book giveaway this week!)

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