Many people are first introduced to fairy tales via the stories made popular by the Brothers Grimm… and Disney.
The Brothers Grimm fairy tales, then, provide a great insight into the German culture, as that’s where their stories were collected. However, these fairy tales also help us navigate other cultures. Many countries share story ideas that we’re familiar with because of Brothers Grimm. Which makes sense. These stories were first told orally. That oral storytelling didn’t have political boundaries. They were just first recorded, or made popular in the U.S. at least, by the brothers in Germany.
Below I’m going to link to a few more resources for those interested in learning more about the Brothers Grimm and fairy tales across cultures.
The Brothers Grimm and Germany
To make a long story short, the brothers collected oral stories throughout Germany and put them into a collection for kids. The first edition had 86 stories and by the 7th edition, there were over 200 tales included.
For visitors to Germany, you can visit important places from the Grimm’s travels. The Fairy Tale Route is a 360-mile path of both Brother Grimm and Fairy Tale related spots. Do the whole trip or find spots that are convenient for your plans.
You can learn more about the Brothers Grimm in this book for kids, Who were the Brothers Grimm?
Other Brothers Grimm Books
The book linked here is just one version of the Brothers Grimm book available. Here are other options to consider. (Click on the image to go to the Amazon page for the book.
The Complete First Edition
This book is an updated translation of the stories told in the first two editions of the Brothers Grimm Books. Which, the publisher felt, includes many stories that don’t get as much attention as some of the later editions.
The Illustrated Brothers Grimm
This version has 30 stories. Many of them already familiar. The stories are illustrated, but not every page.
The Complete Brothers Grimm
This book includes all of the stories the Brothers Grimm collected in their life.
In addition to the compilation books above, you can also easily find individual stories in their own books. These are usually illustrated. And many of the Brothers Grimm books are available in ebook format.
International fairy tales
You can find multicultural versions of some of the most famous stories in the Multicultural Fairy Tale series. Click on the image below to go to the Amazon page. All written by Cari Meister.
Cinderella Stories Around the World
This one book has Cinderella stories from Canada, China, Egypt, and France.
Hansel and Greta Stories Around the World
This includes versions from Germany, Russia, Italy, and Japan.
Repunzel Stories Around the World
Discover Rapunzel-like stories from Germany, Italy, and the Philippines.
Beauty and the Beast Stories Around the World
First, Beauty and the Beast was not originally collected by the Brothers Grimm. But, it’s part of the series so I included it. This book has French, Swiss, and Chinese versions. (By the way, Beauty and the Beast was written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.)