Years apart

The choice of stories is eclectic, from the classics like Pinocchio to The Selfish Giant.

fairy tale book 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
fairy tale book 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Lifnei Shanim Rabot... (Many Years Ago... 12 classic fairy tales in verse) (In Hebrew) Adapted by Drora Handelsman Illustrated by Inbal Sarid Oranit 219 pages; NIS 98 Once upon a time, I had to read bedside stories to my son. Now that he is seven, he often chooses to read to himself in Hebrew after I've left the room. My little prince was thrilled with this book, commanding me: "Write in the newspaper that I like the pictures. It's nice to have so many stories in one book. And the rhymes make it more fun to read." The choice of stories is eclectic: running from the classics like Snow White, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Pinocchio to The Selfish Giant. It also includes Peter Pan (or Peter Pen, as he is known in Hebrew) - minus the character of Tinkerbell, making me wonder if this is a generation of readers who really don't believe in fairies. Some of the tales have been heavily adapted. Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, for example, has lost all the Christian connotations that bothered me when I read it to my son in the English original. It also has a happy ending, unlike the original. I found the illustrations heavy-handed but Yossi liked their bold style. There is, it turns out, a story behind the stories: Sarid apparently worked on the illustrations for two years, conceiving the ideas during military exercises while serving in an IDF rescue unit. On her furloughs, she translated the concepts from something she saw in her mind to something to the print version that appears here. While I was not overly enthusiastic with the end result, Yossi, whose taste perhaps ultimately counts more when it comes to bedtime reading, thought the book was perfect for long winter nights. I can live happily ever after with that.