When most American people think of fairy tales, they think of Walt Disney, and other such. What they don’t realize is that most of the Disney fairy tales are piggybacking on the originals. Usually, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s fairy tales.
The Grimm originals are from a darker time, and were much more real. They give the reader a picture of what kind of life was lived back then. The people who embellished the Grimm stories were making them more suitable for children. In doing that they took away the original storytellers’ touch. The brothers Grimm just wrote what they heard.
I understand why these are too dark for children; they do have some scary parts. Take “Cinderella” for example, the two stepsisters were so desperate to marry the prince they cut of parts of their feet to fit into the gold (not glass) slipper. The stories, about a century later were romanticized into something brighter and more child friendly.
I personally loved the Grimm stories, but I’m 11 and more informed than three to six year olds. I strongly advise you read the Grimm’s edition.
Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY, 2007.