As I mentioned yesterday, if you’re looking for excellent editions of classic folk tales to share with your kids, you can’t do better than the works of Paul Galdone and James Marshall. Both are prolific author-illustrators who have published multiple retellings of some of the most famous stories in the world, but they’ve always found ways to present those stories in really compelling and clever ways.
Trust me. These books will very clearly show you the difference that a skilled author brings to retelling a “classic” tale, even something as familiar as Little Red Riding Hood or The Billy Goats Gruff. Since most folktales are in the public domain, you can find a lot of really cheap, poorly executed picture books of these stories all over the place. (Your local dollar store is probably full of them.) Take any of those PD versions and hold them against the works of Galdone and Marshall and the difference will be as glaring as the difference between a potato and an iPod.
As a brief sample of the amazing folktale awesomeness that these authors so consistently deliver, sit back and enjoy these animated presentations of Marshall’s The Three Little Pigs and Galdone’s Little Red Hen.