The Folio Society treats books as works of art. In this case, the editors have taken the original 1872 edition of George MacDonald’s fairy tale and commissioned illustrations by Romanian artist Madalina Andronic — just seven illustrations, but each a full page and steeped in colors, shapes and patterns that invoke the folklore of Eastern Europe: forests and bearded men and tulips and dreams.
MacDonald’s story is about young Princess Irene and a miner boy named Curdie, who becomes her friend. Together, they must thwart the goblins who live underground, and who are plotting to kidnap Irene and marry her to the odious Harelip. It’s a rich, vibrant tale, one of three notable books written by the Scottish author (the best of which is probably “At the Back of the North Wind”). The introduction is by Maria Tatar, Harvard professor and expert on folklore and fairy tales. A perfect gift for a middle-grade or older child who loves to escape into a different world through books.