The Snow Queenby Hans Christian Andersen, Hans Christian Andersen
These timeless, classic stories have been gloriously illustrated and made accessible for younger children to read alone, or for all the family to enjoy together. This fresh approach brings the stories and their characters to
One of the best loved of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, this retelling of The Snow Queen is both delightful and accessible.
These timeless, classic stories have been gloriously illustrated and made accessible for younger children to read alone, or for all the family to enjoy together. This fresh approach brings the stories and their characters to life. There are also special pages giving background detail to set the scene of each story.
Italian illustrator Baroni’s background in character design brings a fantasy aesthetic to Godeau’s retelling of this Andersen fairy tale. Kay and Gerda are drawn as older children with lean features and blousy peasant clothing; Gerda’s hair often blows dramatically in the wind. Godeau follows Andersen’s original closely, though the translation is graceless in places: “But, the weight of the mirror caused his arms to fiercely shake.” Godeau recounts Kay’s enchantment as he is pierced and frozen by shards of a magic mirror and then captured by the Snow Queen. Gerda’s journey to the North to find Kay is told as a series of episodic encounters with colorful characters: a sorceress, a talking reindeer, and many more. Baroni’s most remarkable creation is the Snow Queen’s black castle, shown on the endpapers; soaring up from two mountain peaks, it features a dizzying aerial bridge and dozens of lit windows. For an older audience, this is a version of the tale that offers a bit of an edge, visually bridging the worlds of classic fairy tales and game culture. Ages 7–up. (Nov.)
"This edition does for Andersen's classic what Gerda does for Kay-melts its frozen stiffness and restores to it the freshness of spring. . . . This elegant and splendid version is sure to give pleasure to many." —School Library Journal
"Lynch brings exquisite grace and elegance to his illustrations of Andersen's classic . . . Lynch's Snow Queen remains a dazzling and irresistible enchantress." —Publishers Weekly
"Lyrically retold . . . handsomely illustrated in full-blown romantic style." —Booklist
One of the great illustrators of our time takes on one of the knottier Andersen fairy tales, producing a gorgeous and winning result. MacDonald's retelling hews closely to Andersen's original in all its complexity but without its Christian allusions. It begins with a prologue: A wicked troll creates a mirror in which everything good looks hideous, and everything evil looks entrancing. The mirror breaks into millions of tiny pieces and pollutes the world. In winter, when Gerda's grandmother tells the story of the Snow Queen to Gerda and her friend Kai, the window flies open, and Kai is pierced by a tiny shard of the troll mirror. He insults Gerda, dashes outside and is whisked away on his sled by the Snow Queen herself. Gerda does not believe he is dead and searches through many adventures and adversities to find and rescue him. Ibatoulline's paintings are a wonder of form and color. On one spread, the icy queen wraps Kai completely in her blue and gray fur blanket; on the next, Gerda takes a boat on a sunlit river in a golden spring to find him. There are princesses and robbers, mysterious crows and talking reindeer. Ibatoulline renders the northern lights more exquisitely than any photograph. A deep subtext of love and loss, childhood and awakening, power and trust resonate through these pages at least as strongly as the magnificent images. (Picture book/fairy tale. 7-12)
- Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
- Publication date:
Read an Excerpt
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.
Meet the Author
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is one of the best-loved tellers of fairy tales. He was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a shoemaker. Despite the poverty of his early life he became a short-story writer, novelist and playwright. He is best known for his fairy tales, which were published between 1835 and 1872, and include The Red Shoes, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling.
Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra. Misha has won several awards for his literary translations. He lives in Aarhus, where he works as a freelance writer and translator, in addition to writing and performing songs under the name Minka Hoist.
Lucie Arnoux is a keen storyteller, who likes to spend a lot of time on her illustrations, and in her illustrations. Originally from France, she graduated from Kingston University in Illustration & Animation. She has also illustrated In Their Shoes, published by Pushkin Children's.
- Date of Birth:
- April 2, 1805
- Date of Death:
- August 4, 1875
- Place of Birth:
- Odense, Denmark
- Place of Death:
- Copenhagen, Denmark
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