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Gem Classics Library Fairy Tales

Updated on March 1, 2014

Great Books Are Magical Childhood Companions

This page is about very special books that I owned as a child, lost in adolescence and rediscovered as an adult.

The Gem Classics fairy tale series by Jane Carruth is absolutely enchanting in every way.

When my husband and I decided it was time to start a family I tracked them down on Amazon in anticipation of sharing them with my future children because they were so very special to me when I was young. I had only previously owned two of the books, but in my research I discovered two more in the series and purchased them as well.

Upon reading the books for the first time as an adult I was surprised at how the stories and illustrations came flooding back to me. I was also surprised at how well written the stories were. They appeal to the adult I've become as much as the child I once was, and in my experience, it is a rare book that can maintain that sort of appeal.

Below I have detailed which stories are available in specific books as well as links to where you can get your own copies if you wish to. Though the books are no longer in publication you can obtain pre-loved copies for a fairly reasonable range of prices through Amazon.com, and I strongly recommend that you do because these books are true gems and the longer they remain out of publication, the more difficult they will be to obtain.

Charming Well Written Stories That Capture The Imagination

All of the stories in the series are retellings of folk and fairy tales. You will recognize many titles from the contents lists I've included below. They go back to the roots of Grimms where everything is not always sunshine and roses, which is one of the many reasons why they appealed to me so much as a child.

They're slightly morbid, slightly sinister, the way real fairy tales should be, reflecting the true and honest facets of human nature as well as the dangers of the world around us. Having said that, they're not over the top in any way and not every story has a dark element to it. Some stories clearly just celebrating the brighter facets in human nature and all have a moral to teach.

I've also recently discovered that they are an absolute pleasure to read out loud with a little cuddly person in your lap

Enchanting Illustrations Are A Very Important Component

There are 5 illustrators with very distinctive styles featured on alternating stories within the series, Mary Dinsdale, G. & S. Tourrett, Gerry Embleton, John Speirs and Donald Harley.

I've included the photograph above to give you a taster of the sort of quality pictures that you could expect to see. That particular illustration is repeated on the front and back end papers of each of the books. It's sort of a collage of various characters from selected stories from all four books arranged in a busy, visually engaging procession.

Inside the books there are colorful and captivating pictures on every page. Though the artist's styles differ, each illustration is a treasure in its own right, beautiful and marvelously detailed.

I'm not sure if the pictures appealed more to the budding artist in me or to my imagination but they are etched in my brain so deeply that conjuring them is nearly palatable, and I can still quite happily lose myself flipping through the books just taking in the illustrations.

Ruby Fairy Tales

Contents

Rapunzel

The Bold Little Tailor

The Donkey Cabbages

The Elves And The Shoemaker

Jack And The Beanstalk

The Wee Man Of The Moors

The Witch And The Children

Get Your Hands On A Pre Loved Copy Of Ruby Fairy Tales On Amazon

Ruby fairy tales (Gem classics library)
Ruby fairy tales (Gem classics library)

The Ruby Fairy Tales book was my favorite and it's the one that I had for the longest until it met an unfortunate end in a flood.

If I have peaked your interest and you are considering obtaining one of these books I would suggest that you start with Ruby.

 

Sapphire Fairy Tales

Contents

Puss-In-Boots

Snow-White And Rose-Red

The Crystal Ball

The Flying Trunk

The Garden Of Paradise

The Little Mermaid

The Prince And The Emperor's Daughter

Three Little Men Of The Forest

Ricky-Of-The-Tuft

Get Your Hands On A Pre Loved Copy Of Sapphire Fairy Tales Through Amazon

Sapphire Fairy Tales
Sapphire Fairy Tales

This is my second favorite book in the series and it's the other one that I had when I was little. I particularly love The Little Mermaid and Puss in Boots but all of the stories are fantastic.

 

Emerald Fairy Tales

Contents

The Brother And The Sister

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs

Jack The Giant Killer

The Little Drummer Boy

Rumpelstiltskin

Hans And The Little Iron Man

The White Dove

Get Your Hands On A Pre Loved Copy Of Emerald Fairy Tales Through Amazon

Emerald Fairy Tales
Emerald Fairy Tales

I did not own this one when I was a child so my first time reading it was as an adult. The stories are just as rich and beautifully illustrated as the others .

Unfortunately, Amazon is being difficult about displaying the picture here but if you click the link you'll be directed to the corresponding entry on Amazon for the book, there are several copies available.

 

Diamond Fairy Tales

Contents

The Sleeping Beauty

Hansel And Gretel

The Proud Beetle

Little Tom Thumb

The Elf Hill

The Robber's Treasure

The Witch In The Woods

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Fairies

Get Your Hands On A Pre Loved Copy Of Diamond Fairy Tales Through Amazon

Diamond Fairy Tales
Diamond Fairy Tales

As with the Emerald collection I did not have this one when I was young but I can say that it follows suit with the others as far as overall quality is concerned.

 

What Is Your Favorite Fairy Tale?

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    • Stuwaha profile image
      Author

      Stuwaha 3 years ago

      @Naharet: The Little Mermaid was also one of my favorites because of how it ended :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one who is passionate about these books!

    • profile image

      Naharet 3 years ago

      I owned these as a child. My great grandma had bought me the set and I fondly remember her reading me to sleep nightly reading them. Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite, as well as Princess and the Pea, but I also dearly loved The Little Mermaid and how it ended, even if it was tragic. As an adult, and a single parent of a 6 year old boy, I have been searching everywhere for these books again! My great grandma just passed last year and I found myself yearning to share with my son the wonders and joys of these books that she shared with me. I was lucky enough to find the Emerald book at a used book store, and every once in a while, I take a stroll through there and head straight for the fairy tale section - just for these books!

      I don't know why I never thought of Amazon or Ebay (I have found them on Ebay as well, usually with better photos), and I hope to order the rest soon. It's wonderful to find someone who enjoyed the same stories I did as a child. They were magical and I remember the illustrations in detail, even as an adult, so many years later. These are great books and I would recommend them to anyone who reads fairy tales to their children, girls OR boys!

      Samie

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      shabi9764 3 years ago

      i love your lens!!!!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 4 years ago

      My favorite classic fairy tale is 'The Princess and the Pea'.

      But, most of all, I prefer Greek myths.

    • Stuwaha profile image
      Author

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      @CamelliaPenny: Shrek is certainly wonderful :)

    • Stuwaha profile image
      Author

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      @CamelliaPenny: I can't imagine they would be anything less :)

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      I think my favorite classic fairy tale would have to be Cinderella. My modern favorite would be Shrek, which doesn't really fit in here!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      I like the way you say "pre-loved" instead of "pre-owned!"

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      The Emperor's New Clothes taught me a valuable lesson about honesty and humility. Great lens!

    • Stuwaha profile image
      Author

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Great choice :) there are actually two versions of Hanzel and Gretal in this series.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hanzel and Gretal is probably my favorite. Great article!