cover image Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales

Berlie Doherty. Candlewick Press (MA), $19.99 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0997-9

Two accomplished artists here join forces to create a fairy tale anthology. The happy-ever-after result is this elegant volume, which blends Doherty's (Dear Nobody) superb retellings of 12 favorite stories and Ray's (Hansel and Gretel) sumptuous mixed-media illustrations. The author takes great care to preserve the authenticity of these oft-told stories, modeling her work on the earliest available sources (the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen among them). To these stalwart blueprints, Doherty adds her distinct storytelling style, which brims with vivid detail, producing fresh versions sure to captivate readers anew. In ""Cinderella"" for example, she injects into the many traditional elements an enchanted hazel tree instead of a fairy godmother. To distinguish one tale from the next, Ray frames her artwork with generous borders containing images from the corresponding story. Her signature gold paint and folk art motifs prevail, but she also adds a number of striking silhouette-collage compositions to the repertoire. A multi-ethnic cast of characters and distinct landscapes place the action from Asia to India to Europe and beyond. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)