is a 1981 book of children's stories written by Monty Python
's Terry Jones
and illustrated by Michael Foreman
with both ink drawings and watercolor paintings.
The book tells an assortment of short fantasy tales, such as "Simple Peter", about a boy with a mirror that shows you as others see you, and the tale of a little girl who is offered the chance to take a magical trip to Goblin City, but spends so long fretting about the trip that eventually the friendly goblin who made the offer takes it back.
The tales are told with an irreverent voice and comic nonsense. At one point the stars are heard to sing, "Boodle-dum dee, boodle-dum dar, isn't it fun, being a star?" To which the moon answers, "I'm just the moon, but that's fine by me, so long as I hear that boodle-dum dee!" Some of the dialogue is surprisingly adult ("That is one hell of a beautiful butterfly," says an admiring frog) and some of the tales end on a rather sad note, but they also feature the old-fashioned lessons and fearsome monsters one would expect of fairy tales.
In April 2009, the book was chosen by Children's Laureate Michael Rosen
as one of his five best children's stories of all time.Alison Flood. The Guardian
, 28 April 2009