Peau d'âne by Charles Perrault
Above: Bilingual Thornwillow edition
Though some not know the name Charles Perrault, everyone has heard of his fairy tales, which include Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.
The tale is classic for the period, with a happy beautiful Princess, and a happy King married to a beautiful Queen whom he loves dearly, but upon her passing he can only marry someone more beautiful than her. After failing to find someone suitable, he goes amd and realises that the only person matching that description is his daughter the Princess, who becomes distressed at this proposal. With the help of the Lilac Fairy she tries to avoid this by putting on impossible conditions, which are all met. Eventually she runs away from the Palace covered in a donkey's hide and ends up working in another castle on a farm as an ugly, smelly servant. In that castle there is a Prince in search of a bride, who falls in love with her, and the rest of the story is as expected: after a search for the owner of a ring which accidentally ends up in a cake, the story ends with everyone living happily ever after.
Though a traditional child's fairy tale, the book is also fun for adults wishing for a reminder of their childhood reading.
HAPPY READING FROM PD PRESS