This "Once Upon a World" version of Cinderella is sweet and perfect for young listeners, with a Mexican flair for originality! Mexican illustrator Sandra Equihua's artwork is dazzling and vibrant. If you're looking for retellings based on the Charles Perrault story, consider versions by Barbara McClintock, Ruth Sanderson, or Marcia Brown's 1955 Caldecott Medal classic. The Cinderella story can be found in many cultures, including Korean, Indonesian, Greek, and Irish.
We have many fine editions of The Ugly Duckling, but Jerry Pinkney's 2000 Caldecott Honor version is my favorite. His illustrations of the ostracized duckling who grows into a magnificent swan are breathtaking!
Hansel and Gretel is one of the creepiest well-known Grimm fairy tales (there are plenty of creepier lesser-known Grimm stories, too!), but the German forest settings and the witch's house made of candy can make for outstanding illustrations. If you want the classic German woods setting, try versions by Will Moses, Susan Jeffers, or Holly Hobbie. For a cartoonish version (and less creepy), read James Marshall's take, while Rachel Isadora puts a fresh spin on the tale by setting it in an African forest. Finally, if you want the full-on creepy factor, Neil Gaiman's retelling is for you.
Not only does Susan Middleton Elya's Little Roja Riding Hood include Spanish words (glossary is included) throughout the story, but it's also told in rhyme, which makes this a fun read aloud for listeners. For the classic version, don't miss Trina Schart Hyman's 1984 Caldecott Medal edition. Jerry Pinkney's Little Red Riding Hood is gorgeous, while James Marshall's famous cartoon-like illustrations and telling make the accessible for young listeners/readers. Niki Daly's memorable Pretty Salma is set in Ghana, with a dog being the chief villain.
Looking for more fairy tales? Check out the J 398.2 section.
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library