This is a really wonderful book. I am surprised no one else has reviewed it yet. My then-5-yr-old son & I first discovered this several years ago in the fairy tale section of our library, and both of us enjoyed it greatly. My son is now 8 yrs old, we've since checked it out several times - most recently last week, when he sat down and read the whole book to himself! - and now his 5-yr-old brother really enjoys it too. Time to buy our own copy!
The book is divided into 5 sections ("tales like the three pigs", "tales like hansel and gretel", etc.) and each section contains 3 stories with similar story lines, each from a different part of the world -- for a total of 15 stories. Each story is several pages long, with at least one full-page illustration per story, done in beautiful artwork that mimics that of the setting from which it originates (on pages with no large illustration, there are decorative borders, different for each story). The stories are well-told, exciting to read aloud, the language in many cases evokes the feeling of oral storytelling (as these tales were originally passed down that way). It is a really great and engaging way to introduce the idea of literary comparison to young children, plus the stories are just plain fun to read.
Warning: Some of the story elements are a bit gruesome, but from my kids' points of view that is what makes them exciting. They love the story of Oniroku, a Japanese version of Rumpelstiltskin, in which a huge and ferocious ogre (the illustrations for this are wonderful!) threatens to take a man's eyes if he cannot guess his name before sundown. And the Hansel & Gretel stories all involve threatening cannibalistic monsters. All in all, an exciting collection. Highly recommended.