Carle, E. (1988). Treasury of Classic Stories for Children: by Aesop, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, selected retold and illustrated by Eric Carle. New York: Orchard Books.
Carle's beautiful illustrations (in his usual style) help these classic folktales and stories to come--not alive, necessarily, but at the very least more eye-catching. With artwork incorporated onto each page, Carle's interpretations of the works of Aesop, the Grimms, and Anderson may be enjoyed.
While there is a great deal of trickery and the occasional death among the these pages, there is not nearly as much depressing or morbid content as could be found in the complete collections of the Grimm brothers or Hans Christian Anderson's works.
I also liked that the morals of Aesop's fables were not emphasized too heavily or pulled out into a special section as occurs in some other collections.
Overall, Carle includes some more famous stories (such as Tom Thumb by the Grimms and The Grasshopper and the Ants or The Rabbit and the Turtle by Aesop) balanced with stories that students will probably be less familiar with.
Activities to Do with the Book:
This collection would serve as an excellent read aloud to children who love fairytales and folktales, whether they've been exposed to such stories extensively or only have the Disney versions.
The stories would lend themselves to be acted out among children. Also, since most of these stories come to us from Ancient times or the 1800s, students could consider the clothing and setting Carle chose to use in his illustrations.
Many of the stories could be tied or used with other literature because of similar themes. For example, The Grimms' Hans in Luck works well with Shel Silverstein's poem "Smart." The Evil King by Hans Christina Anderson has details similar to The Emperor's New Clothes. etc.
“What a sad thing it is that we have no children. We live too quietly. A child would cheer us up" (p. 9).
"A well-known judge loved to talk about the good old times.
Whether he was visiting someone else or someone was visiting him, it wasn't long before he began talking about the olden days and how much better they had been" (p. 31).
"A rabbit and a turtle were looking for something to do to while away the afternoon.
"How about a race?" suggested the rabbit, who was a very fast runner" (p. 36).