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Wonder Tales – 4 Star Book Review

Welcome to one of the January 20th stops on the blog tour for Wonder Tales, narrated by Elizabeth Klett, tour organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for audio excerpts, reviews, and other special features!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

Wonder Tales
Favorite Fairy Tales From Around the World

Stories by Oscar Wilde, Hans Christian Andersen, Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Elizabeth Klett, Joseph Jacobs

Print Length: 338
Audio Length: 11 hours 16 minutes
Published 4 September 2020
by Spoken Realms

Genre: Classics
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

This collection of 40 fairy tales contains well-known favorites from authors like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Charles Perrault, Madame de Beaumont, and Joseph Jacobs. It also collects rare gems from folk-tale traditions around the world, from Germany to China, from Scandinavia to Arabia, from Russia to Japan, and from Italy to Canada. These beautiful, frightening, funny, romantic, and whimsical stories will introduce you to princesses in peril, beastly brides and grooms, adults and children behaving badly, daring and adventurous girls, and clever and devious tricksters. These wondrous tales will be enjoyed by listeners both young and old.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Audible

Top Ten Reasons to Listen to Wonder Tales

  1. To hear some of your favorite fairy tales. I’ve chosen stories that many listeners will recognize, particularly in the opening section, which is called “Princesses in Peril,” and includes classic favorites like “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Cinderella.”
  2. To hear different versions of your favorite fairy tales. Although I think listeners will be familiar with some of the tales, the versions included here might actually be new to them. For instance, did you know that in Charles Perrault’s 17th century version of “Sleeping Beauty,” the story doesn’t end after the prince and princess get married? It actually gets much stranger from there!
  3. To hear fairy tales you’ve never heard before. Along with familiar stories, I’ve chosen some that are probably unfamiliar to many listeners, such as “Chonguita, the Monkey Bride” from the Philippines, “Catskin” from England,” and “Lu San, Daughter of Heaven,” from China.
  4. To travel (virtually) around the world. These stories come from all over the globe! Although many of them are from Europe, they also come from countries like Japan, Canada, India, Russia, and the Middle East.
  5. To make connections between stories. You’ll find as you listen that there are surprising connections between some of the tales, even though they come from very different places. See how many of these you can find!
  6. To celebrate strong and resilient heroines. One of my goals in putting together this collection, particularly the stories in part 4, was to show that fairy tales are not just about pretty princesses, but also about brave and adventurous girls.
  7. To explore the dark side. Many of these stories are darker and more disturbing than the fairy tales you may remember from your childhood. See, for example, the Brothers Grimm tale “The Juniper Tree,” which features a song about cannibalism!
  8. To take delight in tricksters. The stories in Part 5 are focused on clever and devious tricksters, who are ubiquitous figures in fairy tales and world mythologies.
  9. To enjoy being read to. Listening to fairy tales is an experience that many of us can remember from our childhoods, and can still enjoy as adults.
  10. To find the happily ever after. Although not all these stories conclude with an HEA, many of them do, even if the characters sometimes take surprising or unexpected roads to get there!

My Review

My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.

I was granted complimentary review access to Wonder Tales as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title via Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in permitting me this opportunity! This has not swayed my opinion; my thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Wonder Tales is a collection of old fairytales from around the world, presented in their original form or a translation thereof, from the world-famous tales of Grimm and Andersen to lesser-known stories from Arabia, Japan, Canada, and more. Every story is expertly narrated by Elizabeth Klett.

Story: 4 out of 5 stars
Performance: 5 out of 5 stars
Overall 4 out of 5 stars

I sincerely cannot fault Klett’s performance at all. The narration in this collection was an absolute pleasure to listen to! I also very much appreciated the wide variety of countries this collection was pulled from, as it both reminded me how much I love the stories I already knew and introduced me to ones I didn’t. And as a Canadian, I’m always quite excited to find a lesser-known Canadian artifact in a collection like this!

The reason I’m giving the stories and the whole package overall 4 stars rather than 5 is that now, in the 21st century, some of these stories are really showing their age. These stories deserve to be remembered and cherished in their original forms like this, but I prefer the modern revisions that give the girls and women within them the brainpower and awareness they deserve. If this collection is the first time a reader (listener) is discovering Andersen and Grimm and Wilde as originally written I would caution them to remember that these stories were written in a very different time, and these are not the rosy Disney interpretations.

About the Narrator

Claire McAdams Photography

Elizabeth Klett is an English literature professor by day and an audiobook narrator by night. She has been a professional audiobook narrator since 2011 and has produced over 200 titles for ACX, Bee Audio, Findaway Voices, Spoken Realms, and Tantor Audio. She trained as an actor at Drew University and holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois. She loves reading (and teaching) fiction, drama, and poetry of all kinds, and delights in creating distinctive voices and accents for literary characters. An absolute Anglophile, Elizabeth has narrated dozens of books in a British accent, despite the fact that she’s originally from New Jersey. Her expertise in analyzing and understanding literature makes her recordings particularly enjoyable for her listeners.

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Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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