27 Oct 2015



BACK COVER BLURB: When the Selfish Giant decides to build a wall around his garden to prevent the children from playing in it, it becomes barren and stuck in perpetual winter. It takes a wonderful event and the heart of a young boy for him to realize the error of his ways.

 A classic tale for children, 'The Selfish Giant' is presented here with all of Oscar Wilde's other stories 'The Happy Prince', 'The Nightingale and the Rose', 'The Devoted Friend', 'The Remarkable Rocket', 'The Young King', 'The Birthday of the Infanta', 'The Fisherman and His Soul' and 'The Star Child' - brought to life by Philip Waechter's bright and imaginative illustrations.

FIRST SENTENCE {The Happy Prince}:High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 211}: "Weet! Weet! Weet!" twittered the green Linnets. "The old Earth is dead, and they have laid her out in her white shroud."

"The earth is going to be married, and this is her bridal dress," whispered the Turtle Doves to each other. Their little pink feet were quite frostbitten, but they felt that it was their duty to take a romantic view of the situation.

SOURCE: One of Alma Book's Junior Collection, I received a copy for review from them.

MY THOUGHTS: As an adult I'm not a big fan of the short story per se but given that some of my happiest childhood memories revolve around my nana reading me The Selfish Giant as you can imagine I was more than eager to read this collection of stories by Oscar Wilde .... and what a collection it was.

Containing ....
  • The Happy Prince
  • The Nightingale and the Rose
  • The Selfish Giant
  • The Devoted Friend
  • The Remarkable Rocket
  • The Young King
  • The Birthday of the Infanta
  • The Fisherman and His Soul
  • And what turned out to be my favourite, The Star Child.
I was also delighted to find the book contained some explanatory notes, some 'Extra Material for Young Readers' consisting of information about the author and the stories AND, finishing nicely, a short quiz.

Outwardly a selection of traditional fairy tales that though written in the 1800's I would strongly suggest are timeless. If however thought about more deeply these are highly moral tales - more so than I ever fully appreciated as a girl - making them a wonderful choice for older as well as younger readers though I would perhaps advise caution for really young readers as some of the stories are quite dark.

Illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Philip Waechter. Beautiful and yet subtly done, I only wish there were more of them.


Gina R said...

Oh this sounds like a wonderful read though that cover contradicts the title. I'd have never guessed he was selfish...he looks kind!

Barbara Fisher said...

This sounds lovely Tracy! I don’t think my grandchildren are quite old enough for it yet – but so what – I shall treat myself. :-)

Lily B said...

these look like a lovely set of fairy tales, i think i have heard of a few of them

Sherry Ellis said...

A great classic! I've read these.

Kelly said...

I don't believe I've ever read any of these. From what you say, it's not too late for me to do so now. I enjoy the occasional short story. I love the cover!

The Bookworm said...

I like the sound of this, especially since it is beautifully illustrated as well.

DMS said...

This sounds like a must read collection! So glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. I look forward to the illustrations too. :)

Gingi Freeman said...

This looks cute, I'd read it! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good, Tracy. I didn't like The Picture of Dorian Grey at all. I should give Wilde another chance.

Melliane said...

i'm always anxious with anthology but it's nice to see one like that

Brian Joseph said...

Sadly i seem to have missed this as a child. Of course nothing is stopping me from catching up as an adult :)

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I read (and liked) this story in an edition illustrated by another artist ~ Ritva Voutila. I like pen and ink drawings, too. Might pick this up if I see it at the library.