In a refreshing departure from the recent spate of slyly revisionist fairy tales, Cresswell ( Moondial ; The Secret World of Polly Flint ) here offers traditional versions of nine stories aptly described as ``classic.'' Deftly pared down for the target audience, each rendition moves at a pace as sprightly as the gait of the wolf that reaches Grandmother's house in plenty of time to greet Little Red Riding Hood. Each story is accompanied by one elegant, lushly hued, full-page painting featuring either wide-eyed, cherubic children (Hansel and Gretel, Snow-white and Rose-red, Goldilocks), or a radiant older heroine (Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella); all the main characters, however, are conventional, fair-skinned beauties. A talented artist, Lawson also provides copious, charming spot art, with generous sprinklings of flowers and mice. The brevity of the tales makes this an excellent bedtime read-aloud--but adults should be prepared to let little eyes linger on the lavishly detailed illustrations. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994 Release date: 04/01/1994 Genre: Children's
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