Read Audiobooks The Yellow Fairy BookAuthor Andrew Lang –

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10 thoughts on “The Yellow Fairy Book

  1. says:

    If fairy stories can't get a five-star rating then what is our standard? Five stars to Andrew Lang and his magnificent collection of colored fairy stories. This Yellow one is one of my favorites. Real fairy stories with real consequences.

  2. says:

    Haven't quite enjoyed it as much as the previous tomes, I've considered some stories to be a bit vulgar to be read to kids.

  3. says:

    I grew up with a copy of Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book. I loved that hardback edition of fairy tales. I read it and reread it and reread it. At that time, I had no idea that there were a whole set of color fairy tales to be had. But I had such fond memories of it that when I spied a modern edition of The Yellow Fairy Book at our Friends of the Library Book Shop in 2015, I just had to bring it home with me. I have to admit that it wasn't as spellbinding to my adult self as that first fairy tale collection was to my younger self.

    There is something very magical about fairy tales for children. The simple phrase "Once upon a time..." sets the stage for all sorts of wonderful adventures. Adventures that feature girls no bigger than your thumb, a boy who can turn into a wolf, and a talking stove as well as the traditional princes, princesses, giants, witches, elves, and giants. In fact I was already familiar with a number of the stories collected here--including "Thumbelina," "The Six Swans," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Glass Mountain," and "The Nightingale." These are also some of the best tales in the book and I did still enjoy the visit to fairy land...with a few reservations.

    [pardon me a moment as I step onto one of my soap boxes...]
    I didn't realize when I picked up the book that Andrew Lang's collection had been "edited" by Brian Alderson. Edited here means that Brian made whatever alterations he thought necessary to make these more palatable to a modern audience. I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of those decisions--what I will do is give my opinion that if Mr. Alderson wanted to put together a "more acceptable" collection of fairy tales, then he should have done so with his own book. He shouldn't have been given Andrew Lang's collection and then been given free rein to decide whether the versions Lang included were appropriate or the most "readable" or whatever. Part of the charm of the Blue Fairy Book (as I recall) was that I knew (even as a youngster in the late 1970s) that I was stepping into a different time period--an era that believed in fairies and magic and dragons, etc. and a time period that may have thought other things that were no longer true as well. I knew that this time period didn't represent my time period and I didn't expect it to.

    But setting aside the rightness of whether he should have made the choices at all, I also have trouble with some of the choices themselves--he tells us that he has gotten rid of some of Lang's selections because they weren't interesting, but then he keeps variations of stories that are virtually the same. For example, we have multiple variations of the simpleton (or the least favored or what-have-you) winning the day through virtue of having made the right friends--gluttons who can eat everything, men who can make things cold or can see great distances; friends who can help him perform the impossible tasks required of him. If the point is to have a better offering of stories all arond, then I would think variety would be a good standard to meet as well.

    Overall--still a good selection of fairy tales that should appeal to young readers and I did enjoy them. Just not quite as much as expected.

    First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

  4. says:

    My rating as more to do with the narration of the audiobook rather than the fairy tales. The actual fairy tales were ok. Some were more interesting than others. However, the narration was awful. Each narrator read in such a bored voice that it was very difficult to be interested in what they were reading. I may have enjoyed the book more if I had read it rather than listened to it. If I decide to read another of the color fairy books, I will definitely skip the audio version.

  5. says:

    I feel like I saw pretty much the same thing in all my reviews for these books but it was enjoyable. Some were boring and other were good.

  6. says:

    This is the one in which the tales really start to branch out.  There are a couple of literary tales that I didn't much like, but a lot more places.  Greek.  Polish.  Bukowinaer.  Iclelandic.  A few from North America.  I particularly liked The Golden Crab, The Flower-Queen's Daughter (in which dragons ride horses and go to dances where humans can dance, too), The Grateful Beasts, The Witch in the Stone Boat, and The Blue Mountains.

  7. says:

    I enjoyed this book a lot, with its classic tales from around the world. There are stories compiled from Russia, Iceland, Poland, and many other places. There are Hans Christian Andersen stories, and some Native American legends added in for good measure. H.J. Ford's illustrations are exquisite as usual, and though the writing is more formal in style, so you have to read carefully to avoid missing details, the tone matches the fantastical tales. The stories range from the more serious and dark to the lighthearted and funny. A lot of the stories have similar elements, and so can be a bit predictable, but there are still some that are more creative and memorable. My favorite stories were as follows:
    The Dragon of the North, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Iron Stove(in which a young woman saves a prince for a change), The Dragon and his Grandmother, The Flower-Queen's Daughter, The Grateful Beasts, The Magic Ring, Snow-Daughter and Fire-Son(which has a darker tone and a sad ending), The Story of Big Klaus and Little Klaus, The Swine-Herd, The Flying Ship, The Tinder-Box, The Nightingale, and Blockhead-Hans.

  8. says:

    This is the other book I got for Christmas last week. This was probably the first of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books that I exposed myself to (all the way back in 2013), and I'm glad to finally have a copy of my own. This one has quite a selection, including stories by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, as well as stories from other parts of Europe as well as some Native American stories. I think this is the book with the most stories out of all of Andrew Lang's books (I think The Olive Fairy Book has the least).

    My favorite stories:
    - The Story of the Emperor's New Clothes
    - The Iron Stove
    - The Little Green Frog
    - The Glass Mountain
    - Alphege, or the Green Monkey (really love this one)
    - Fairer-than-a-Fairy
    - The Flower Queen's Daughter
    - The Death of the Sun-Hero (this one's really sad)
    - The Swineherd
    - The Nightingale

    This one had a really good selection, which I am impressed with. There's no major complaints that I have about this book, so I'm giving it a perfect score.

  9. says:

    This collection has an assortment of tales by the Brothers Grimm, Andersen, Afanasiev and several folk stories from other northern countries. The ones I liked best were by Andersen.

    Daniel: I liked all the stories very much.

  10. says:

    I started out loving the stories, then they got less enchanting and more redundant and brutal. Favorites:

    The Dragon of the North
    The Golden Crab
    The Little Green Frog
    The Crow
    The Flower Queen's Daughter
    The Flying Ship (I love gifted companion stories like this)
    The Seven-Headed Serpent (rather anticlimactic at the end, and how could that king live with himself, sending young people to die every year? But somehow I liked the atmosphere of the story)
    The Grateful Beasts
    The Wizard King (I feel sympathy with him--he just couldn't force it, could he?)
    Fairer Than a Fairy
    The Death of the Sun-Hero (really thought-provoking, challenging us to be careful when we give ourselves titles we may not deserve)
    The Witch
    The Witch in the Stone Boat
    Hermod and Hadvor