The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm - FAQ - Frequently asked questions
1. Why is TASCHEN doing a children's book for the first time after so many years?
TASCHEN recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. We have many readers who have come of age with us and are now having their own families. These readers are interested in beautifully produced children’s books that take seriously a child’s exposure to stories and images with depth and historical meaning. We wanted The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm to embody our mission to create meaningful books that are timeless yet original, modern but classic.
2. Aren't Grimm fairy tales too eerie and violent for kids today?
Many discriminating readers today lament the “Disneyfication” of the world’s famous fairy tales, and this book offers children – and adults – an opportunity to discover the original tales firsthand and the exceptional visual art they inspired. Since the tales form the basis for so much cultural activity in the 200 years since they were published, we wanted to create a high quality book that could be a classical foundation of a child’s library, something that would be a source of fantasy and knowledge into adulthood.
For this reason, we left the text as it was originally, even with a few gritty bits still in. When the Grimms started their project, they didn’t plan on publishing the tales for children. It was only after they published their first volume that they realized younger readers were interested. They continually refined and finessed the stories over more than four decades, smoothing out the more violent parts, with the final edition appearing in 1857. This was the edition they felt was the most child-friendly, and it is this volume that we used as the basis for our translation.
3. What age group is this book suitable for?
This book is suitable for readers from 6 years of age onwards, and is certainly also intended for adults. There are some stories suitable for even very young children, such as “The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats,” and “The Brave Little Taylor,” while a handful of the tales have a few more raw instances – such as at the end of “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “The Goose Girl,” and “The Hare and the Hedgehog,” which some parents may like to adapt for younger ears when reading these stories aloud.
4. What’s different about the book’s illustrations?
The artists in this book span a range of nationalities, historical eras, and artistic styles. The unique combination of images offers readers a chance to discover how the Grimms’ tales continued to touch the sensibilities of very diverse artists in different countries over many decades. It’s an incredible testament to the power of the tales. There is no other book on the market that offers this diversity, range, or quality of illustrations, and for readers who wish to learn more, there are extended artists’ biographies in the back of the book.
There are famous illustrators featured, as well as new discoveries in the mix. For instance, readers can learn about groundbreaking book illustrators from the 19th century, as well as the famous artists of the Golden Age of illustration from the early 20th century, both of which had a huge impact on animation and cartooning later. The visual legacy of the Grimms’ work has been neglected for a long time, and through this book, children can go straight to the source of the great image-making from the past. This is a new approach to the tales.
5. Is there text for those who want to learn more?
There is an introduction that describes the history of the tales and their illustrators over time. There is also a brief history of the tale at the beginning of each story, and extended artists’ biographies in the back of the book for those who wish to learn more about their work in a historical context.
6. Why a new translation?
There hasn’t been a new translation of the Grimms’ fairy tales in almost ten years, and we felt the time was right for a new one. The Grimms’ tales are earthy and full of wonderfully humorous details, and our translation is lively, fresh, and highly readable. The delightful aspects of the tales are almost never talked about, and we really wanted to use the occasion of a new translation to highlight the genuine pleasure one gets from reading them.
7. How do children’s books fit into TASCHEN’s program given its diverse, and sometimes adult, tastes?
TASCHEN is like a modern family, and this is what makes the company a unique and honest representation of the whole gamut of human nature. The diverse members of this family produce books that appeal to an equally diverse readership – from erotic provocateurs, to interior decorators, architects, fashionistas, and history and film buffs. Those who love books often remember their favorite stories from childhood, and it’s this ageless passion for books that we want to celebrate.
“Published for the first time as a version aimed at parents and children alike… the perfect addition to any nursery library, it will have readers and listeners spellbound.”
— Daily Telegraph, London, United Kingdom
— Daily Telegraph, London, United Kingdom