Off the Shelf: More Old-Time Fairy Tales

A couple of weeks ago, I shared “My Book of Old-Time Fairy Tales.” Remember it?


In that previous post, I showed you the illustrations for the more well-known fairy tales, so today, I’d like to show you some of the other lovely images from the lesser known tales.

First up is King Hawksbeak, a story about a haughty princess (think “The Cutting Edge” movie) who was too good for any suitor who came to marry her. She was so full of herself that her father said he’d marry her to the next beggar who came to the door. So, here’s the princess and her new husband (who is, of course, King Hawksbeak in disguise).


The next illustration is from The Dancing Shoes (or The Twelve Dancing Princesses). As we all know, the princesses were dancing their slippers to shreds every night, and no one could figure out where. After a bunch of princes failed to solve the mystery, a lowly soldier tried to puzzle it out (with some help from a fairy in disguise). Here he is being offered wine by the eldest and most beautiful of the twelve princesses. But he knows that the wine is drugged, so he doesn’t drink it, and he solves the mystery — and nabs himself a bride, of course.


And here’s the youngest of the twelve princesses crossing the sapphire sea with her soldier rowing away. He’s complaining that the boat is very heavy. That’s because the soldier is onboard wearing an invisibility cloak a la Harry Potter.


Here’s one from Jack the Giant-Killer. This is not the same story as Jack and the Beanstalk (do not believe Hollywood). I thought this was a sweet image of Jack stopping for a rest in the dark, lonely forest before reaching the castle of Blunderbore.


Here’s the ugly two-headed Welsh giant who owned the four valuable things Jack wanted: the coat, cap, sword, and shoes. This giant wasn’t too bright. Jack tricked him into killing himself. Or is it himselves?


This next story I’d never heard of before. It’s called Furball. In order to escape marriage to an ogre, this young princess asked her father for some very hard-to-get wedding gifts, including a coat made from a thousand different animal skins. To her dismay, she actually received her gift. Here she is wearing it the night she decided to run away to escape the marriage. She’s darkening her face with walnut juice — not putting on makeup like I originally thought. Kind of like a linebacker.


This next one is from a story called Toads and Diamonds. A widow had two daughters. The elder was ugly and mean, while the younger (pictured) was pretty and kind. Because life is not fair, the widow loved the elder daughter and made the younger one work like a slave. One day, the young girl was fetching a pitcher of water from a spring, when an old woman (another fairy in disguise) asked for a drink. Because the young girl was so kind and obliging, the fairy cast a spell so that whenever the girl spoke, flowers and jewels fell from her lips.


After getting kicked out of the house for the charm she’d been given, the young girl ran into a handsome prince — why not? When he saw the jewels fall from her lips, he immediately fell in love with her … and put a ring on it.


One last illustration to leave you with. My fav, a girl reading.


Have a great day!


2 thoughts on “Off the Shelf: More Old-Time Fairy Tales

  1. Pingback: Off the Shelf: Traditional Celtic Tales | Book People Studio

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