If you’re venturing into Larkhall this festive season, be sure to visit Beaufort Bookshop… snuggled in the High Street it boasts a range of literary delights. James, the owner gives us his top 6 folk and fairy stories for the children, definitely a worthy stocking filler or two! 

Once upon a time the famous physicist Albert Einstein was confronted by an overly concerned woman who sought advice on how to raise her small son to become a successful scientist. In particular she wanted to know what kinds of  books she should read to her son.

Fairy Tales,” Einstein responded without hesitation.

Fine, but what else should I read to him after that?” the mother asked.

More fairy tales,” Einstein stated.

And after that?”

Even more fairy tales,” replied the great scientist.

Extract from ‘Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes

Folk and fairy tales are deeply embedded in our cultural history and our collective unconscious. They are literary vehicles for understanding the light and darkness of the world without having to actually set foot in a forest of thorns or confront a predatory wolf salivating at the thought of eating you for tea. They teach and entertain in equal measure and stay with us for the rest of our lives: Rapunzel locked in her tower, Hansel and Gretel and their trail of sweets, the trolls under the bridge. Every country has these stories, most based on common archetypes, and they are incredibly important in so many ways.

We stock a lovely broad range of pre-loved and new children’s books at The Beaufort Bookshop, and folk and fairy stories are an essential part of our collection. Pop in for a browse and a cuppa and transport yourself and your children to magical kingdoms, ice-topped mountains and gingerbread houses that are essential for your well-being.

  1. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

The Selfish Giant owns a beautiful garden which has peach trees and lovely fragrant flowers in which little children love to play after returning from school. On the giant’s return from seven years visiting his friend the Cornish Ogre, he takes offence at the children and builds a wall to keep them out. The giant’s change of heart, and the tear-jerking ending, make this a very special modern fairy tale and my personal favourite.  

  1. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen can be mawkish and morally mean, but this story is as near-perfect a fairytale as can be: the boy Kai, in frozen thrall to a cruel, enchanting mother figure, is saved by the loyalty and courage of Gerda.

  1. Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

A new release for Christmas 2018. An astonishing pop-up book that exposes the secrets of three of the most notorious fairy-tale villains–the giant, the wolf and the witch.

Featuring interactive flaps these twists on well-known tales include personality cards for each villain. Lift the flaps to see the diabolical thoughts inside the villains’ heads and what hides beneath their disguises, or the remains of their last meals digesting in their tummies!

  1. Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

A parody of traditional folk tales in verse, Revolting Rhymes provides a re-interpretation of six well-known fairy tales, featuring shock endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after denouement. Illustrated by Quentin Blake, it’s the shortest children’s book Dahl wrote.

  1. Cinderella

Although the most well-known version of the story was presented in the 17th century by Charles Perrault, there could be as many as 1,500 different interpretations of the tale from around the world, including “The Girl with the Rose Red Slippers” from ancient Egypt, and a ninth-century A.D. Chinese version that could explain the story’s fascination with small feet.

See you soon.


The Beaufort Bookshop is a unique multi-functional space in Larkhall, Bath that offers an amazing range of books to buy, also offering English tutoring (KS2 to A-Level) and a variety of engaging events to experience.

Find Beaufort Bookshop located at 1 Beaufort Place, Bath BA1 6RP. Happy Reading!!