Introduction | Fairy Tales & Folklore

Here is an assortment of questions, essays, guides, links, and even a short story that will hopefully enlighten and inspire, or at least help you along the way.

If you would like to praise the site or make a suggestion, please stop now and send me an e-mail at I appreciate the compliments and praise; they encourage me to continue expanding the site as quickly as possible. Also, as one person, I am quite capable of missing a book, song, film, etc. that belongs on any number of the lists provided on this site. I appreciate the recommendations I receive from visitors around the globe.

Finally, if you have a question that needs to be answered quickly or requires more than a quick, easy response, feel free to post it on the SurLaLune Fairy Tales and Folklore Discussion Board. There you have a greater chance of receiving a speedy answer as well as the opinions and ideas of more than one person.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question to see its answer.

Please feel free to link to any page on this site. I appreciate the compliment, but please do not ask for a reciprocal link in return. The reasons for this are numerous but all boil down to the fact that I do not have the time.

While many of the tales and illustrations are out of copyright, the unique way I have presented them on this site is copyrighted. I give permission for the pages to be printed and used for personal or educational use, but please do not copy the site for publication or mirror it on your own website.

Also note that all of the book covers are copyrighted and are shown on this site through my association with

This question concerns identifying a specific fairy tale. Please go to the the SurLaLune Fairy Tales and Folklore Discussion Board and post your question about any tales you are trying to locate or identify. My one brain does not know as many tales as the collective memory of the regulars members on the board. We'll see if we can help.

If you do post your question on the board, please give as many details as possible to help us identify your tale. The following information is usually very helpful:

1) A rough estimate of the year you remember reading the story such as the actual year or at least a generalization of a decade.

2) As many details of the story--such as characters, setting, and plot--as you can remember.

3) Try to remember if the story was in a collection of stories or a picture book, in other words a single story book with many illustrations.

SurLaLune specializes in fairy tale and folklore books, not all general books, nor even all children's books. The long, lost book questions are much harder to identify than the previous question. If you are searching for a long lost children's book, visit the BookSleuth forums sponsored by For fairy tale and folklore books, please also post your question on the SurLaLune Fairy Tales and Folklore Discussion Board and include the same information outlined in the question above.

If you already know the author and/or title, but the book is out of print, you may try searching for the book on This is a metasearch engine that searches many used book websites simultaneously.

It also doesn't hurt to try, especially if the book is still in print. At this time, is the most comprehensive bookseller on the web and serves as a virtual books in print resource.

The most sought after book over the years on SurLaLune is The Golden Book of Fairy Tales illustrated by Adrienne Segur, pictured below.

Golden Book of Fairy Tales illustrated by Adrienne Segur

If the information is not on the site, I have not finished writing or compiling it yet. I add or edit pages almost every day of the year. Please do not e-mail and ask for information that I have not posted. If I haven't put it on the site, it isn't ready for public consumption. I work on the annotations and update other areas on a regular basis.

This site has grown from 2 MB in 1998 to over 95 MB of information in 2004. By May 2005, the site had over 5,000 unique pages using over 135 MB of memory. As of July 2007, the site was 235 MB of information with 47 annotated tales, over 40 eBooks, and 1,500 illustrations. Many of the eBooks premiered on the internet through this site. Thanks to the funds I receive through your linking to for purchases, I plan to add more materials. This site is far from stagnant!

I have answered this question on a different page. Please follow the link to About Heidi Anne Heiner.

Feel free to send any helpful information to me right away at I appreciate your help with identifying any material I have missed.

I am not a book publisher, agent, editor, or even published author. I do not have connections or insights for you concerning where to get your piece published. Please do not submit it to me.

There are many sites on the web that provide helpful information about everything from manuscript preparation to submission. Some of the best sites include The Writer MagazineLocus Magazine, and the Writing Resources website.

For anyone interested in children's literature, The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the best online resources. I have attended several of their conferences and consider them one of the best organizations for aspiring and already established authors and illustrators.

No, I do not personally sell these books. The book covers and "Buy this book" links connect to I feature them to help visitors find books which may interest them. I also happen to love many of them and want to share them with a larger audience.

I do not make a profit from this site which I have created strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. The minimal money received from my association with helps to defray the personal expenses I incur from research and physical maintenance of this site. Still, I became an associate primarily to help the site's visitors locate recommended books.

I also want to thank the many people who buy books and other materials from while linking through this site. You are helping me keep this site free to a global audience, especially to the students who do not have access to the texts and similar information in their schools or homes.

No, I am sorry I cannot. Many times, I do not own the book you want or I only have one copy that is used to continue research for this site. I am not a book publisher nor a published author. I do not have access to free books. I purchase the books I use or borrow them from my local library.

This is a trivia question that is apparently part of an assignment or scavenger hunt that I am asked quite often. Without further information, I cannot answer it. Cinderella has many names in the hundreds of variants of the tale. I do not know the one for which you are looking.

First of all, I have an entire article on the earliest literary fairy tales: The Quest for the Earliest Fairy Tales: Searching for the Earliest Versions of European Fairy Tales with Commentary on English Translations.

Please don't expect modern day horror stories. We are still talking fairy tales and folklore here. The "gruesome" versions of the tales are not recommended for young readers, but they are not horror movies on paper either. The older versions of the tales contain adult content which has been edited, glossed over, or deleted over the years, primarily sex, incest, murder, and cannibalism to name a few. Yes, Sleeping Beauty is raped while she sleeps. Donkeyskin's father is incestuous. Rapunzel has premarital sex. Cinderella is a murderess. Many of these early variants of familiar tales are found in Giambattista Basile's Il Pentamerone. Others were the early versions collected by the Brothers Grimm before they decided to edit the stories for younger audiences.

I also recommend Grimm's Grimmest which contains 19 early versions of the Grimms' tales before they were edited and cleaned-up for younger audiences by the brothers.

Grimm's Grimmest

SurLaLune (no spaces!) started quite simply with my need for a screen name on AOL many years ago, back when screen names were the craze and I was new on the internet. It translates from French to "on the moon" in English. I was a double major with French and English at the time and was searching for a name that represented many areas of my life. It really wasn't intended to represent my folklore/fairy tale side (except perhaps my love of French fairy tales) although it has become synonymous with that part of me since then. Some of my other loves are astronomy and physics which I had given up in formal studies after my freshman year to pursue a liberal arts degree. The name represented my change from science to liberal arts in my life's focus. My regret was that I couldn't do everything although I have never regretted the change itself. I had occasionally been accused of living in the clouds or on the moon--most often by myself--so I gave myself the name to own and control it. I haven't been hurt by such an accusation since I adopted the name.

Then I ended up in library school and had to build a website for an HTML class. I chose to annotate a fairy tale instead of an assigned paper. The fairy tale was Bluebeard and the rest is history. I programmed it and went far beyond the assignment of simply proving I could program the pages by collecting more information than I needed. I kept the page up under the AOL screenname space I already had. The obsession and site continued to grow long after I finished the class and now here we all are almost four years later with a website that has grown often through my obsession with fairy tales, research and education.

If I had anticipated where I am now, I might have chosen a name starting with an "A" to get me at the top of the alphabetical lists of sites. But then again, I might not have. In the end, I just like the way "SurLaLune" sounds and looks. Even if I always have to spell it for people I meet.

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