Before the POGO comic strip became the main focus of writer/artist Walt Kelly, he did comics of many kinds, and this is a beautifully produced Yoe Books/IDW collection of all his fairy tale stories and adaptations from Dell’s FAIRY TALE PARADE comic from the 1940s. The cover sparkles with gold foil, also on the page edges, the binding is sewn, the paper is thick and luscious. It’s a class act all the way.
Inside, each 8.5 by 11 inch page reproduces a comic page or cover in high resolution scans from the original comics that are brightened up enough to look as they might have when the original comics were new. Kelly is best known for drawing and writing about animals, and there are plenty of those here, but his fairy tale princes, princesses, knights, giants, witches, townsfolk and human children are just as charming. Some of the stories are mostly straight adaptations of famous fairy tales we all know like Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella, but even those benefit from Kelly’s wit and storytelling ability. When he goes beyond the familiar to tell what seem to be new fairy tales made up from whole cloth, the results are even more fun and surprising. I love Walt Kelly’s work, and this book is brimming with excellent examples of it. I can’t imagine a finer gift for reading to children, or to be read by them. Children of any age.