The Emperor's New Clothes

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Andersen's classic fairy tale retold from different points of view by twenty-three celebrities and depicted by twenty-three illustrators.

Two rascally weavers convince the emperor they are making him beautiful new clothes, visible only to those fit for their posts, but when he wears them during a royal procession, a child recognizes that the emperor has nothing on.

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The Emperor's New Clothes

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Andersen's classic fairy tale retold from different points of view by twenty-three celebrities and depicted by twenty-three illustrators.

Two rascally weavers convince the emperor they are making him beautiful new clothes, visible only to those fit for their posts, but when he wears them during a royal procession, a child recognizes that the emperor has nothing on.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this a "witty new edition, set in 1913. The emperor's pursuit of fashion becomes such frivolous fun that he is quite a likable fool especially when his tan lines are showing." Ages 6-9. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Duntze embroiders the classic story with exquisite visual details; her lanky, angular people with a jaundiced glow add a playfully sinister note. Ages 5-8. Apr.
Publishers Weekly
John Alfred Rowe (Monkey Trouble) takes his accomplished paintbrush to Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes. The rosy cheeked, rotund potentate is attended to by an elite troupe of mime-ish monkeys, their noses as high as their yellow bowties; the hucksters are depicted as roguish foxes with a pirate-like patch and swagger. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It takes a clever, talented artist to bring new life to an old tale. Rowe has "re-cut, pinned and stitched" it, briskly, retelling the story with an emphasis on the emperor's love of shopping for new clothes. This makes him easy prey, of course, for the "tricky rascals" who come to town to swindle him by promising to weave cloth visible only to those who work hard. His best servant, his hairdresser, and all his helpers pretend to see the magical cloth, and of course the king himself has to "see" it because he feels he works hard as well. The climax occurs at the great procession, when a child dares to tell the truth about the naked emperor. This version ends with a good laugh had by all, including the good-natured emperor, seen only from the rear. He is introduced on the jacket/cover elaborately costumed, turbaned and bedecked, a child-like innocent smiling in anticipation of further sartorial adventures. His empire is populated with a cast of anthropomorphic animals in odd clothes. The rascals are a pair of foxy con men exuding guile. The settings are in an ageless fairy-tale land, sometimes mysterious but always amusing. 2004, Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Stunning color illustrations of this classic tale of an Emperor who cared only about being finely dressed. He spent all his money on new clothes and would parade through the city. Tricksters, claim to make a marvelous cloth that was invisible to those unfit for their jobs or shockingly stupid. The entire city waited for the parade. Children will love the surprise ending. It is an oversized book with the colored pencil and wash illustrations delicately rendered in pale warm shades. 1997 (orig.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
What a lovely joke for children to enjoy! Hans Christian Anderson's timeless wit is brought to life with arrogant style. The impressive choice of language is supported perfectly by the vibrant, intricately detailed pictures. The pompous Emperor is a lion of great proportions and the delightful scoundrels who weave the magic cloth are gleeful foxes who steal the show along with most of the kingdom's coffers. The palace and the town provide elaborate and memorable settings.
Children's Literature - Sonya Goldman
Mendelson retells and illustrates the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale with splendor and humor. Imagine a potbellied gorilla emperor complete with a jeweled turban, who exposes his bare bottom to the entire court while admiring his "new clothes" in the mirror. "Emperor" pokes fun at vanity and foolishness with updated storytelling kids and adults will enjoy. Of course, the emperor is transformed by his misadventure-the final illustration finds him lounging by a pool in jeans and a T-shirt. Mendelson artfully selects animals for the Byzantine styled characters-lovely seals for the harem, a Cabinet of chameleons, and, of course, a rat for a tailor.
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
This classic tale was published in 1837, and has been a favorite ever since. This version is set in pre-World War I Europe, which adds a real sense of style and decadence to the story. Each spread of illustrations is unique, including images of postcards, money and stamps that look like a souvenir/photo album. One spread even appears as a newspaper story. The weavers appear to get away with their deception, but maybe the Emperor gets the last laugh with the twist at the end.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Stunning illustrations perfectly capture this magnificent retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's popular tale about the vain Emperor who cared for nothing in the world except his wardrobe. When two swindling weavers enter the city and claim they can weave the most wonderful, glorious cloth that only appears invisible to foolish people, the Emperor gives them a bag of gold and commands them to start weaving immediately. Impatient to see how the cloth is coming along, the Emperor dispatches his Prime Minister, then his Master of the Imperial Wardrobe, to inspect the exquisite cloth. When both men fail to see the cloth and fear looking foolish, they pretend to see the fabric and return to the Emperor with detailed stories about the cloth's hues and designs. After a few more bags of gold, the weavers present their creation to the Emperor, who wears his invisible garments to a special procession where a young boy states the obvious and makes the Emperor come to a painful realization. Young fairy tale fans will laugh out loud when they read this rollicking version of Andersen's classic story.
Kirkus Reviews
From Lewis (The Steadfast Tin Soldier, 1992, etc.), a plucky new treatment of the familiar tale. Here the emperor, everyone's favorite sartorial obsessive, is a preWW I dandy, but he is the same chump as always, duped by the two prankster weavers. Their cloth, "invisible to anyone who was unfit for his job or particularly stupid," has all the court's self-important retainers and grandees in a swivet: They can't see the cloth but dare not admit it in fear of being branded an incompetent or a fool. The ruse goes all the way to the top, to the emperor's self-doubts and conventionality, and his absurd procession: When exposed for the clown he is by a child's shout, the emperor remains calm" `If I stop, it will spoil the procession. And that would never do.' So on he stepped, even more proudly than before." The translation is fine and sure, and Barrett's artwork is splendid, full of lively vignettes and early-20th-century details, complete with a company of wise dogs and the impeccably expressive faces of bystanders.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881011067
  • Publisher: Unicorn Publishing House, Incorporated, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/1990
  • Series: Fairy Tale Classics Ser.
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Hans Christian Andersen

Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for THE LITTLE HOUSE, Burton's books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans. She is the author of many classic children's picture books, including MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL and KATY AND THE BIG SNOW.


Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, Denmark, to a poor family. He left home as a 14-year-old to seek his fortune at the theatre in Copenhagen. Andersen began writing plays and poetry before he left for Copenhagen, but it was not until 1835 that he published the first of the fairytales that would bring him international renown. Since then, his over 200 fairytales have enjoyed undiminished popularity, providing the basis for favorite American interpretations such as Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Biography courtesy of HarperCollins

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 2, 1805
    2. Place of Birth:
      Odense, Denmark
    1. Date of Death:
      August 4, 1875
    2. Place of Death:
      Copenhagen, Denmark

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2001

    about the emeror's new clothes

    I think the book is great

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted April 23, 2012

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    Posted December 17, 2008

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