I’m a bit of a fairy tale nut.  I’ve loved Disney since forever, but after discovering the original tales, I’m even more in love.  I wanted to be sure to introduce my kids to the originals, as I don’t believe in a sugar-coated life.  Fractured fairy tales are a passion of mine, but they can’t be understood unless you know the originals (either the actual originals or the Disney originals don’t matter, but you need each fairy tale individually to appreciate the fractured ones).

I’ve also been wanting to do Disney units for ages – I figure we can watch the movie, read the original tale, learn about the country, the time period, the culture, etc.  And then some have operas or ballets made, too.  All this to say, I bought a bunch of fairy tale books when my kids were younger, and at least most of them are coming in the bus with us.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on it and make a purchase I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please check our Privacy Policy and Disclaimers and Disclosures.

Illustrated Fairy Tale Books

An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Anastasiya Archipova. While I can disappear into a book of all text and not emerge for hours, I knew that to keep my young kids’ attention we’d need illustrated versions.  It’s not a complete collection, but the stories do seem to be true to the originals. The illustrations are gorgeous.  Many people are horrified by the original versions, but I found that introducing them early really helped them tolerate them.  My kids have watched the Disney movies dozens of times by now, but I can still read them the originals.  Of course, my kids now better realize how terrible the actions in the original stories are, but they can still listen to and appreciate them.

An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Daniela Drescher. Again, this is not a complete collection, but the stories seem true to the originals, and the illustrations are beautiful.  There’s about 1 full-page illustration per story, which is probably not ideal for my kids, but it’s better than no illustrations at all.

The Golden Book of Fairy Tales: this is what we started with.  Lots more illustrations, but the stories also seem to be pretty true to the originals.  There are only a couple that overlap with the other books, as most in this book are by neither Andersen nor Grimm.

Complete Collections

Aesop’s Illustrated Fables: this is, to my knowledge, a complete collection, at least as complete as I know of.  There’s not a lot of color, but the illustrations are well done and the stories are short.  It’s beautifully bound, too.

Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales: sadly, I was not able to find a complete collection that was illustrated; thus the reason for buying the illustrated collection mentioned above.  But I wanted a complete collection, so bought this one for when my kids get older.

The Arabian Nights, translated by Sir Richard Burton. I don’t know if a complete collection can be found in English. As I don’t speak or read Arabic, this was the best I could find.  I am sure there is a considerable amount lost in translation and editing due to the translator’s bias.  I’m also not sure if, not being a member of that culture, I would really understand the original tales.  But, this will serve as a decent starter for us once my kids get older. Maybe we can explore the culture and more accurate translations later.  Sadly, there are no pictures in this version.

Hans Christian Andersen’s Complete Fairy Tales: There are, sadly, no illustrations in this version.  But it is also beautifully bound. I look forward to reading these stories with my kids when they’re a bit older.

Super Amusing Fractured Tales for Older Kids

Once Upon a More Enlightened Time is a hilarious twist on many old favorites. Younger children aren’t going to appreciate it. However, I know a young teen who loves it, so it’s not just for adults. But if you’re looking for an amusing, different take on the fairy tales you’re reading to your kids, pick this one up for yourself.