This is a collection of all the classical fairy tales we used to read and hear when we were children.
Philip Pullman did a remarkable job: researching for every single tale all the different known versions and trying to identify the original one. Then he retold every story in what he thought was the best way.
I surely appreciate such an accurate work around fairy tales, and I thank him for that and also for giving his readers all the sources that he investigated.
What really got on my nerves was his know-it-all and judgemental tone throughout the whole book (i.e. This story is silly and nothing good can be found in it; The meaning of the bird in the tale is said to be so and so, which is all nonsense ... and so on). That was really not necessary and not asked for.