A celebrated adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of friendship and loyalty. Gerda and Kai are faithful companions until one day Kai is snatched away by the wicked Snow Queen. Gerda sets out across the frozen wastes to rescue her friend. During her treacherous journey she encounters many strange and wonderful characters: some of them try to stop her finding Kai, and others help her on her way.

When the Snow Queen abducts her friend Kai, Gerda sets ...

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The Snow Queen

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A celebrated adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of friendship and loyalty. Gerda and Kai are faithful companions until one day Kai is snatched away by the wicked Snow Queen. Gerda sets out across the frozen wastes to rescue her friend. During her treacherous journey she encounters many strange and wonderful characters: some of them try to stop her finding Kai, and others help her on her way.

When the Snow Queen abducts her friend Kai, Gerda sets out on a perilous and magical journey to find him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lewis's commanding translation of this Andersen classic rings with nobility even as it maintains a colloquial jauntiness. The famously gripping narrative, of tender-hearted Gerda's epic quest to rescue her friend Kay from the frozen realm of the Snow Queen, is respectfully and insightfully introduced by Lewis. She points out, for example, that, of all of Andersen's major tales, The Snow Queen is ``the most free from ill fortune, sorrow, unkind chance'' and that its protagonists ``make their own luck, good or bad, as they go''; and that it is the ``only great classic fairy tale in which every positive character is a girl or woman . . . while the victim to be rescued is a boy.'' Barrett (see review of Beware Beware , above) contributes gentle watercolor and pencil illustrations, evoking an ageless fairy-tale realm while a frisson of danger lingers beneath her flower-filled images. Pictures of icy wastes--a flurry of blue, white and violet--are especially striking. Inset illustrations and incidental art as well as full- and double-page pictures are interspersed throughout the very substantial text in an agreeable book design that accommodates the youngest members of the target audience. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Kay and Gerda are best friends and next-door neighbors. When the Snow Queen carries off Kay, Gerda sets out to find him. During her quest, she encounters many wondrous people and places. Throughout her adventure, she maintains her childlike innocence and faith; therein lies her power and strength. The cycle of seasons, repeated in the tale, is emphasized in the watercolor and pencil illustrations.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
For young readers there is an adaptation of a traditional winter favorite with beautiful illustrations. Peachy retells the story of the Snow Queen with the help of award winning illustrator P. J. Lynch.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale is retold in its entirety making this book lengthy but worth every page. It is an old-fashioned storybook with exciting chapters and lots of sumptuous illustrations frosting the pages. The Snow Queen is a stirring account of a young girl's courageous attempts to save her best friend. This rendition of Anderson's tribute to the power of love is beautifully translated, charming to the end.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-6

Lewis's adaptation of Andersen's well-known tale is a smoother, somewhat edited version of the one she included in Tales of Hans Christian Andersen , illustrated by Joel Stewart (Candlewick, 2004), and the text is more appealingly arranged on the page. It includes Andersen's introduction to the story, which describes the breaking of the devil's magic mirror, as well as all of the twists and turns of the plot that are a part of Gerda's journey to find Little Kay. Soft pastel illustrations show aerial views of the lovely orange-roofed European city; several exquisitely rendered portraits of the children and of the elegant and beautiful Snow Queen; and impressionist-style scenes that range in size from full-page to smaller vignettes, highlighting and enlivening each of the unusual characters and scenes in the story. The tale's sophistication lies in its well-fleshed-out religious motifs-the purity and innocence of a child's heart that obliges people and animals to serve her; the great power inherent in the utterance of the Lord's Prayer by this child whose faith is pure and strong. A lovely edition to add to any collection.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-A beautifully illustrated translation of Andersen's well-known tale about the power of innocence and love triumphing over evil. The varying moods of Barrett's watercolor-and-pencil scenes perfectly complement the curious story. Softly glowing paintings of the two fair-skinned, sweet-faced children contrast with the stark, dramatic coldness of the Snow Queen's realm and the fantastic, almost eerie atmosphere of the robber band's forest hideout. The story's religious overtones are subtly echoed in the pictures: a cross formed by the topmost branches of an evergreen in Gerda's path; the cloud of angels surrounding the girl; her handful of white lillies at the end. Charming illustrative touches amidst double spreads of two-columned text highlight moments in the story. Both pages of text and full-page pictures are bordered by a fine black line, and the number of each chapter is decorated with a small vignette corresponding to that section of the tale. Surpassing all available translations and adaptations in its pictorial evocation of the story's essence, this version is sure to become the one of choice in most collections.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Hazel Rochman
ger and older for reading aloud. First published 150 years ago, Andersen's long fairy tale is a story for our time, and Lewis' translation captures both the mystery and the immediacy of the telling. Kay is kidnapped and held in thrall by the Snow Queen in her palace, where "the walls were of driven snow, and the doors and windows of cutting wind." His loving friend Gerda undergoes all kinds of trials on a perilous journey to save him. Gerda's love gives her courage and determination, and when she finally gets to the land of monstrous snow and Northern Lights, her warm tears melt the ice in Kay's heart and wash the glass splinter from his eye, so that he can recognize her and be free. There's unusual complexity in this story in which even the flowers are self-centered characters and the images are both magical and ordinary: the Snow Queen promises Kay "the whole world and a new pair of skates." Barrett's dreamy watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are gentle for the most part, capturing the turn of the seasons. The pictures become truly scary in the scene in which dreams rush past on the stairs and in the sepia-toned views of the robbers' hideout. As Lewis points out in her introduction, this is a quest story in which all the main characters are women and the victim to be rescued is a boy.
Kirkus Reviews

Andersen's lengthy, sentimental fairy tale receives respectful treatment in this handsome new edition, which hews closely to the original story. Lewis's adaptation is vigorous, rendering the tale in a cozily familiar address without losing the stately flavor of the original: "The white cloak and cap were made of snow, and the driver—ah, she was a lady, tall and slender and dazzlingly white!" Birmingham's paintings, snow- or sun-dappled according to the scene, have a Turner-esque quality that complements the period, presenting round-cheeked children and a soullessly beautiful Snow Queen in both intimate vignettes and expansive double-page spreads. (Illustrated fairy tale. 7-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849436410
  • Publisher: Oberon Books Ltd.
  • Publication date: 8/13/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,207,960
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Hands Christian Andersen (1805-75) was born in Denmark. His father, a poor shoemaker, died when Andersen was 11. He later went to Copenhagen to act and write plays, but found true success through writing stories. Today Andersen's fairy tales are known and loved throughout the world. Adrian Mitchell writes plays, poems, and stories for children and adults. His plays include retellings of The Pied Piper and The Snow Queen, and he has adapted The Odyssey for the DK Classics series. This poetic retelling of The Snow Queen captures the essence of the original. Nilesh Mistry was born in Bombay and moved to London, England in 1975. His books for Dorling Kindersley included The Illustrated Book of Fairy Tales and Aladdin in the DK Classics series.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Which Treats of a Mirror and of the Splinters

Now then, let us begin. When we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now: but to begin.

Once upon a time there was a wicked sprite, indeed he was the most mischievous of all sprites.

One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness.

In this mirror the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights, or appeared to stand on their heads; their faces were so distorted that they were not to be recognized; and if anyone had a mole, you might be sure that it would be magnified and spread over both nose and mouth.

"That's glorious fun!" said the sprite. If a good thought passed through a man's mind, then a grin was seen in the mirror, and the sprite laughed heartily at his clever discovery. All the little sprites who went to his school--for he kept a sprite school--told each other that a miracle had happened; and that now only, as they thought, it would be possible to see how the world really looked. They ran about with the mirror; and at last there was not a land or a person who was not represented distorted in the mirror.

So then they thought they would fly up to the sky, and have a joke there.

The higher they flew with the mirror, the more terribly it grinned: they could hardly hold it fast. Higher and higher still they flew, nearer and nearer to the stars, when suddenly the mirror shook soterribly with grinning, that it flew out of their hands and fell to the earth, where it was dashed in a hundred million and more pieces. And now it worked much more evil than before; for some of these pieces were hardly so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about in the wide world, and when they got into people's eyes, there they stayed; and then people saw everything perverted, or only had an eye for that which was evil.

This happened because the very smallest bit had the same power which the whole mirror had possessed. Some persons even got a splinter in their heart, an then it made one shudder, for their heart became like a lump of ice.

Some of the broken pieces were so large that they were used for windowpanes, through which one could not see one's friends.

Other pieces were put in spectacles; and that was a sad affair when people put on their glasses to see well and rightly. Then the wicked sprite laughed till he almost choked, for all this tickled his fancy. The fine splinters still flew about in the air: and now we shall hear what happened next.

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