The first book I remember reading is my big, heavy book of fairy tales. It featured tales from the Grimm and Perrault collections, as well as some taken from the Arabian Nights and classic American literature like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, besides stories like Johnny Appleseed, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and a couple of Brer Rabbit stories. Many were also sourced from traditional folklore collections of Spain, India, China, Italy and the British Isles.
Anyway, since I started reading for my Coursera Fairy Tales assignment, I kept thinking of the gorgeous illustrations of that early book. I loved it so much as a child that I felt I had to stamp my ownership all over it. It is, therefore, filled with scribbles and sketches (even moustaches for the bad guys). After me, my younger sister took over the book and she’s doodled in it too. Sometimes I feel bad that we didn’t take better care of this book: it’s spine has fallen apart and many of the illustrations are now marred by our once well-meant additions. Other times, however, I can’t help but laugh out loud. It’s a beloved book and in all its sketches and doodles and scribblings, it also contains the history of our childhood years. It shows who we adored (Cinderella, over whose gorgeous dress we have drawn over and over again) and who we hated (the witch in Sleeping Beauty, upon whom we bestowed the fearsome teeth which were missing in the original illustration). Anyway, I decided to share some of these images with my readers. I know most of you enjoy a good picture just as much as you enjoy a good story.
Hansel and Grethel: