"Many, many, many years ago I wrote a book for your Mummey-when she was my little May-telling the fairy tales which the little boys and girls of England used to hear from their mummeys, who had heard them from their mummeys years and years and years before. My friend Mr. Batten made such pretty pictures for it-but of course you know the book-it has "Tom, Tit, Tot" and "The little old woman that went to market," and all those tales you like. Now I have been making a fairy-tale book for your own self, and here it is. This time I have told, again the fairy tales that all the mummeys of Europe have been telling their little Peggys, Oh for ever so many years! They must have liked them because they have spread from Germany to Russia, from Italy to France, from Holland to Scotland, and from England to Norway, and from every country in Europe that you will read about in your geography to every other one. Mr. Batten, who made the pictures for your mummey's book, has made some more for yours-isn't it good of him when he has never seen you?|
Though this book is your very, very own, you will not mind if other little girls and boys also get copies of it from their mummeys and papas and ganmas and ganpas, for when you meet some of them you will, all of you, have a number of common friends like "The Cinder-Maid," or "The Earl of Cattenborough," or "The Master-Maid," and you can talk to one another about them so that you are old friends at once. Oh, won't that be nice? And when one of these days you go over the Great Sea, in whatever land you go, you will find girls and boys, as well as grown-ups, who will know all of these tales, even if they have different names. Won't that be nice too?
And when you tell your new friends here or abroad of these stories that you and they will know so well, do not forget to tell them that you have a book, all of your very own, which was made up specially for you of these old, old stories by your old, old Ganpa."