I had this book for 11 years before losing it a couple years ago during some moves. I bought the book from my elementary school library in 1999-2000, in one of those sales where they get rid of old or damaged books. The book was hardback, felt like it had fabric over the hardback material but I don’t know that it ever had a dust jacket or anything. The cover was illustrated, with I think either a tower or the “man in the moon”, or both. The book was a purple-maroon color, possibly a faded dark blue the way dark blues and blacks might fade with bleach, but I’m pretty sure it was the purple-maroon color originally.
Some stories I remember, but can’t find exactly on any searches:
1. A poor man lets some elves/fairies eat the last of his food (bread and cheese), and they repay him by placing a coin on his oven that always is replaced when you remove it. I think it flies in from the window or something. He becomes rich, and marries a woman who is different from the other villagers, I think from another town/city. She is vain, and washes her face in milk to keep it pale, while other villagers wash their face in cold water to keep their cheeks rosy. The wife doesn’t like that no one has ever seen the elves/fairies, so she sneaks up on them one night and they disappear and take the money, leaving the man and wife poor.
2. A man sees these fairies dancing at night (either 8 or 12), and thinks one is incredibly beautiful, and describes her features to be like the moon and so forth. I believe her hair was black, not sure. He ends up kidnapping her to be his wife. She becomes very sad and either stops talking to him or tricks him into letting her go.
3. A girl is given 3 presents, which she opens when she needs help from I think her step mother, who makes her do ridiculous things. I think she helped an old lady, who gave her the presents. They might have just been called colorful boxes. One present was opened when she was told to make a cake, and the box contained a giant cake. The last box had a man/prince in it to take the girl away.
4. There was one about the man in the moon, a man built a Tower to reach the moon and I guess he ended up stuck there. Somewhere in the book is an illustration of the tower and of him in the moon, which was a full moon and a smiling face with crinkled eyes. It’s also possible I’m combining 2 stories, but I’m not sure.
5. A boy finds a leprechaun and gets it to reveal his pot of gold. The boy knows he can’t take his eyes off the leprechaun or it will vanish, but the leprechaun eventually tricks the boy into putting him in his pocket. As soon as the boy does this, he realizes what he has done and the leprechaun has disappeared.
6. There was a version of Rapunzel, not sure if that was the title of the story but I’m assuming so. A pregnant woman gets her husband to steal greens out of the witch’s garden, and the witch makes them give up the baby. The witch locks her in a tower, and eventually a prince rides by and climbs her hair, and they fall in love. The witch finds out and causes the prince to fall into brambles, blinding him, and eventually rapunzel finds him again, and cures him of his blindness with her tears.
7. There is also a version of Rumpelstiltskin, where he helps her spin golden thread for three days in exchange for her firstborn child. Then he gives her a chance to keep her child, if she can guess his name in 3 days. She eventually hears him singing his name, and gets to keep her baby.
I want to say there is a number in the title, like 100 or 50, and a list of all the stories in a table of contents. But I feel like that’s too many, so I could be wrong.