The Brothers Grimm–More Than Just Fairy Tales

I have recently been reading one or two of the original Grimm brothers’ fairy tales every morning with my coffee. A friend loaned me a beautiful hardback edition to which Maurice Sendak contributed his always imaginative and delightful illustrations. The book is called The Juniper Tree and Other Tales From Grimm. But you can find the Grimms’ stories for free now online as well (see below).

Free Online Grimm Fairy Tales

In case you didn’t know, the Grimm brothers were famous philologists too. Jacob Grimm even came up with what is now known as “Grimm’s Law” because it describes specific changes that happen to languages over time. He is the first person to discover any such predictable and systematic changes to languages and his new law represented a turning point in the field of linguistics. But of course for all of us non-linguists, the best thing about the Grimms will always be those tales!

Because many of the translations of the Grimm fairy tales are now in public domain, there are several quality online editions available for free. There’s also an audio version you can download. The stories might make for some fun reading for October leading up to Halloween.  Depending on the edition you choose, however, you may need to read the stories first before serving them up to really young children. These are the original German folk stories translated but not necessarily edited for children, and in times past parents definitely aimed to frighten children into behaving more than we do today!

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