The present book of German and Norse folk and fairy tales is based on Rolf Brandt's two anthologies, Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm (1943) and Why the Sea Is Salt and Other Fairy Tales (1946), both published by Peter Lunn in London. Brandt changed many of the tales and created over 40 unusual illustrations that shed new light on the original tales. Brandt was a surrealist, and he used a pencil method to elaborate on the meanings of the tales. Since his original illustrations were published during World War II, they reflect upon the conflicts in this period. Brandt is essentially an "imaginer." His work is subjective. It comes out of his head. But it is not a head stuck blindly in the clouds. Brandt has lived - and he goes on living in everything he puts on paper. His work is endlessly an expression of impression. But it is no field of daffodils recollected in tranquility - it is a vital outpouring of vivid and sometimes obviously painful experience.
Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active storyteller in public schools, founded Neighborhood Bridges at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and has written fairy tales for children and adults. Some of his recent publications include: The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012), The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang (2013), and Grimm Legacies: The Magic Power of Fairy Tales (2014). Most recently he has published The Sorcerer's Apprentice: An Anthology of Magical Tales (2017), Tales of Wonder: Retelling Fairy Tales through Picture Postcards (2017), Fearless Ivan and His Faithful Horse Double-Hump (2018), The Hundred Riddles of the Fairy Bellaria (2018), and Slap-Bam, The Art of Governing Men: Édouard Laboulaye's Political Fairy Tales (2018). In 2019, he founded his own press called Little Mole and Honey Bear and has published The Giant Ohl and Tiny Tim (2019), Johnny Breadless (2020), Yussuf the Ostrich (2020), Keedle the Great and All You Want to Know about Fascism (2020), and Tistou, The Boy with the Green Thumbs of Peace (2021). The Original Bambi: The Story of a Life in the Forest (2022)
"Brandt is essentially an 'imaginer.' His work is subjective. It comes out of his head. But it is not a head stuck blindly in the clouds. Brandt has lived – and he goes on living in everything he puts on paper. His work is endlessly an expression of impression. But it is no field of daffodils recollected in tranquility – it is a vital outpouring of vivid and sometimes obviously painful experience." - John Keir Cross