Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were nineteenth-century Germans who set out to preserve their country's oral folk tales by writing them down. The stories were often cruel, but once the brothers saw how popular the tales were with young readers, they started making them softer, sweeter and more moral.
Google Books brings us a 367-page online ebook reproduction of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" edited by Frances Jenkins Olcott, illustrated by Rie Cramer, and published by The Penn Publishing in 1927. Because the original book was scanned, the type isn't as sharp (or as easy to read) as an HTML page, but there is something endearing about reading this ninety-year old book online. It includes classics such as Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin.
Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary grades, this site features Flash books with pages that turn with a mouse click, and audio narration that can be turned on or off. "Read and hear interactive, narrated, animated stories. ... Grimm Brothers cartoon characters present a biography of Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Online books link to e-learning, coloring downloads, arts, flash games, and other kidstuff."
"Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else! The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it capricious and often cruel. " National Geographic serves up a graphically-rich adventure into twelve "unvarnished" Grimm fairy tales, some of which include audio. Click on the treasure box for a biography, resource links, and a kid's activity page.
Storynory storyteller Natasha Gostwick reads sixteen Grimm fairy tales, for your enjoyment at the computer, or for downloading to your MP3 player. "Our stories have brought harmony in place of strife on the back seats of cars all over the world. Next time you travel with the family, take Storynory with you." Each illustrated story page includes both the audio version and a transcription, so your early reader can read along, or you can read to your preschooler.
SurLaLune's collection of 200 Grimm stories (translated by Margaret Hunt in 1884) include several unique features. First, each fairy tale includes extensive notes by the Grimm brothers (also translated by Hunt), and many of the tales also have a hyperlinked annotated version on a separate page. In the Annotated Tales section of the site, the editor recommends "reading the entire story before exploring the annotations, especially if you have not read the tale recently."