The retold fairy tales are taken from a variety of sources - some Russian, some European, some Native American. Some are set in classical settings in the past, some are adapted for the modern day. They highlight a number of traditional dichotomies, such as good versus evil, men versus women, hard work versus laziness, poor versus rich.
I'm a sucker for fairy tales, and I thought this was a very nicely composed collection. I'm sure that my kids would enjoy them as much as I did, although some of the stories have more grown-up themes that might pass over their heads right now. While the tone of the stories is generally straightforward, there are some instances of tongue-in-cheek humor that elevate them just a touch and gives them an added layer of meaning. I enjoyed the collection as much as I've enjoyed Mr. Ahern's previous stories, and would definitely read more work by him. For fans of fairy tale retellings, I think this is a great collection, and I'd recommend it.