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An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and genre_fiction: fairy tales

An Illustrated Treasury of Swedish Folk and Fairy Tales

Published: 18 Jul 2019

Hardback, 256 pages

Recommended for age 7+ and 9+

Illustrated by John Bauer

Published by Floris Books

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Centenary gift edition of the much-loved collection of classic stories illustrated by A new centenary gift edition of the much-loved collection of folk and fairy tales from Sweden, illustrated by acclaimed artist John Bauer. From good-natured Scandinavian trolls through giants, tomtes, shepherd boys and princesses, the twenty-three classic stories by well-known authors such as Elsa Beskow and Anna Wahlenberg are delightfully told, full of adventure and magic with clever, resourceful children outwitting fairytale villains. John Bauer's art -- renowned for its detail, character and subtle humour -- has never looked more luminous and evocative than in this gorgeously produced edition.

Twenty extra pictures have been added along with a wonderful illustrated biography of Bauer, celebrating his work and life one hundred years after his premature death. The book has a foiled cover and ribbon marker, perfect for gifting. This treasury will be cherished for generations to come and loved by children, parents and grandparents alike.

Reviewed by Heather Hann

This is a centenary version of the classic book, which contains Swedish folk and fairy tales combined with John Bauer’s atmospheric fairytale illustrations. The book contains short stories about Trolls & Tomtes, Brave Girls & Boys and Kings & Queens as well as information about the life of John Bauer.

The stories, although Swedish in origin and therefore will be unfamiliar to most children, are based on a similar structure to all folk and fairy tales which will be familiar. They cover themes such as transformation, quest and sacrifice with the backdrop of the Swedish landscape such as woods and mountains but introduce characters such as trolls, gnomes and crofters.

This book is a fascinating collection and would allow pupils to learn about folk and fairy tales beyond the usual Rapunzel and Hansel & Gretel and look at how the physical geography of a country is represented in stories from that place. The story structure could be compared to stories from a range of cultures and provide a clear structure which pupils could then use to write their own versions. I used one of the stories The Prince without a Shadow to plot the structure of the quest and then the children compared and contrasted this to Where the Wild Things Are. I would definitely have a copy on my bookshelf, especially in Key Stage 2 both for the illustrations and the stories.

Heather is currently the Head of School Improvement for a large MAT in Suffolk. Before that she spent 25 years teaching in Essex where she worked as a teacher and part of the Essex School Improvement Team as a Literacy Consultant; before finally becoming Headteacher of a Primary School. She loves reading, baking, visiting her beach hut and Wallace and Gromit; seeking out every opportunity to combine them wherever possible!