(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

The style of the Brothers Grimms’ tales is simple, appropriate for a child. The language is serious, dignified, and poetic. There is little description, a lot of action, and enough speech to make the narrative interesting. In some stories, a person or an animal will resort to verse at a crucial point. The openings and closings of the Grimms’ fairy tales are ritualistic, pungent, and much more inventive than the stale “once upon a time” and “they lived happily ever after.”

In selecting and arranging their folktales, the Grimms, and Wilhelm especially, showed balance, taste, and love. The result was wonderful.