Fairy Tales and Retellings

vasilissa the beautiful bilibin

Vasilissa the Beautiful by Ivan Bilibin

February 26th is Fairy Tale Day, which I didn’t know until recently. Fairy tales are a really important part of my internal mythology, so I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of them. For this list, I went with a fairly limited definition of fairy tales. I want to do another post that highlights some folk and fairy tales from other countries, but I thought including those here would expand the scope a little too much for one post.

I’ll also note that this is list is not meant to be exhaustive. I haven’t necessarily read all of the books here, and in the Middle Grade & YA Retellings section, I starred the books that I’ve actually read and recommend; the others I either had more mixed feelings about, or haven’t read yet. These are all, however, books I have some personal knowledge of. If there are great books I’m missing, let me know!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Arthur Rackham

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Arthur Rackham

Classic fairy tale collections
Peppper and Salt by Howard Pyle
The Fairy Ring by Kate Douglas Wiggins and Nora Archibald Smith
The Blue Fairy Book (and sequels) by Andrew Lang
Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales (obviously the Pantheon version is the Only Correct Version)
The My Book House series has many folk and fairy tales in it.

Pepper and Salt by Howard Pyle

Pepper and Salt by Howard Pyle

Newer collections
The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon
The Fairy Tales by Jan Pienkowski
Fireside Stories: Tales for a Winter’s Eve by Caitlin Matthews and Helen Cann

Fairy Tales, by Jan Pienkowski

Fairy Tales, by Jan Pienkowski

Individual picture books
Vasilissa the Beautiful and The Firebird by Ivan Bilibin
Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman
The Sleeping Beauty by Trina Schart Hyman
Snow White by Trina Schart Hyman
The Lady and the Lion by Laurel Long
The Tale of the Firebird by Gennady Spirin
Snow White and Rose Red by Kelly Vivanco
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Mahon and Kinuko Craft
Beauty and the Beast by H. Chuku Lee and Pat Cummings

The Six Swans, P.J. Lynch

The Six Swans, P.J. Lynch

Middle-grade & YA retellings
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
East by Edith Pattou*
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris Kessler
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell*
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Beauty and the Beast1
Beauty by Robin McKinley*
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley*
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley*
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Sleeping Beauty
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters by Diane Zahler
The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker
Cinderella1
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine*
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Ash by Malinda Lo*
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Snow White and Rose Red
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan*
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede
Maid Maleen
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale*
White Cat
White Cat by Holly Black*
Seven Swans
Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Deerskin/Bearskin
Deerskin by Robin McKinley*
Goose Girl
Goose Girl by Shannon Hale*
Rumpelstiltskin
A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce
Rapunzel
Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack by Shannon, Dean, and Nathan Hale*
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Once Upon a Time series by various authors

Grimm's Fairy Tales, Pantheon edition

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Pantheon edition

Adult retellings
The Firebird
In the Forests of Serre by Patricia McKillip*
Laura Florand’s books often have a fairy tale element to them, but since part of the fun is finding it, I’m not going to spoil them!

The Lady and the Lion, Laurel Long

The Lady and the Lion, Laurel Long

Other resources
Sur La Lune
My Pinterest board
Theodora Goss’s Pinterest board


1. Note on retellings of Beauty & the Beast and Cinderella: these are both really important stories in Western culture. I have not attempted to collect anything like all the stories that have an element of either, because that would be half the books ever published. Instead I’ve gone for those that are directly inspired by the fairy tales.

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9 Comments

Filed under book lists, bookish posts

9 responses to “Fairy Tales and Retellings

  1. What a lovely list! I didn’t realize White Cat was a fairy tale–I’ll have to find the original.

  2. Pingback: Some Eyeball-Tickling Links | SJ O'Hart

  3. This is a great list because I love fairy tales and retellings. You haven’t read Cruel Beauty?

  4. Thank you for the lovely list! I’m glad to see you starring Rose Daughter as well as Beauty – I loved them both, but so many of my friends didn’t like Rose Daughter as much. And racking my brains to come up with a fairy tale retelling that you didn’t include, I’m thinking of Zel by Donna Jo Napoli, which I admit to having read only once, in library school… but I remember loving it.

    • Maureen Eichner

      I like them both, but with different parts of my brain, if that makes sense. I don’t think I’ve read Zel, though clearly I should!

  5. Pingback: February 2014 reading list | By Singing Light

  6. Pingback: 2014: Non-fiction, blog series, and more | By Singing Light

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