Alan Lee, illustrator of such classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, talks to Five Books about his favourite stories drawn from myth and fairy tale, what they mean to him, and how important it is for young readers today to experience these ancient stories.
‘It’s a long time since ogres have seemed so absolutely real,’ says Marina Warner, author and long-time scholar of fairy tales. Which makes now as good a time as any to immerse ourselves in the twisted truths of the fairy tale realm, with Warner’s selection of the best books of, or about, other-worldly tales of mischief and subversion, dreams and laughter, ‘hope against hope’
Fairy tales are as relevant today as ever, says Jack Zipes. They are a means of communicating about serious problems such as the abandonment of children (Hansel and Gretel) or the self-sacrifice expected of women (Beauty and the Beast). He picks the best books to help us reflect on the meaning and significance of fairy tales.