The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (Taschen)


The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen have enchanted children and adults alike for over a hundred and fifty years. The twelve stories in this new collection include old favorites such as "The Nightengale," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Princess and the Pea," as well s some less-known tales such as "The Snowman" and The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep."

These tales show the many facets of Andersen's unique genius. By turns romantic and practical, sentimental and comic, ...

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The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen have enchanted children and adults alike for over a hundred and fifty years. The twelve stories in this new collection include old favorites such as "The Nightengale," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Princess and the Pea," as well s some less-known tales such as "The Snowman" and The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep."

These tales show the many facets of Andersen's unique genius. By turns romantic and practical, sentimental and comic, straightforward and ironic, they can provide both an evening's entertainment and continued food for thought.

Neil Philip's sparkling new translation aims to capture Andersen's relaxed, conversational style, often lost in older literary versions. In his introduction, Philip considers Andersen's life and achievements and hails him as one of the greatest artists ever to write for children.

The stories are illustrated by Isabelle Brent with glowing pictures full of rich decorative detail reminscent of Gustav Klimt. Her use of gold leaf brings a sense of glittering wonder to every page - a sense of wonder just right for contemplating Andersen's masterful stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gilded illustrations by Isabelle Brent add sparkle to Viking's Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Old favorites such as ``The Ugly Duckling'' and ``The Snow Queen'' are the mainstay of this 12-story collection, but older readers already familiar with Andersen may welcome the inclusion of such lesser known tales as ``The Snowman'' and ``Father's Always Right'' ($19.99, 144p, all ages ISBN 0-670-85930-3 Sept.).
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-Most of the 12 fairy tales collected in this handsome, appealing volume are popular stories such as ``The Ugly Duckling,'' ``The Snow Queen,'' and ``Thumbelina,'' while some are less familiar: ``Grief,'' ``The Shadow,'' and ``It's Perfectly True.'' Philip has done an exemplary job in selection and translation; apart from an occasional jarring colloquialism, the narratives are done with care and respect for the language and tone of Andersen's tales. They retain the old-fashioned style of the original stories, and while the pace is measured, it does not lag. Brent's jewel-toned illustrations highlighted with gold leaf are eye-catching and lavish. They are set in abstract borders, and the pattern is repeated on the margins of the text pages. Each page is edged with gold leaf on the vertical sides, and the result is inviting and attractive. There is little overlap with Eric Blegvad's fine collection, Twelve Tales (McElderry, 1994). A lovely collaboration.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-By ably retranslating 40 of Andersen's best-known tales, Philip succeeds in restoring the original conversational intimacy between the storyteller and listeners. While the selections frequently end in rejection, humiliation, or disappointment, "they are saved-by the salt of Andersen's wit and the acuteness of his observation," the translator says in a substantive and informative introduction. Brent's elegant watercolors make frequent use of gold leaf as emphasis and borders for both the illustrations and each page of text. Families will find much to cherish in this beautifully designed presentation.-Susan Hepler, formerly at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Hazel Rochman
nger for reading aloud. Glowingly illustrated by Isabelle Brent with lots of gold ornament and brilliant color, the 12 tales in this collection have been retold by Philip with immediacy and romance and a relaxed, conversational style. ("So he came back home, very put out, because he did so long for a real princess" ). Some of the stories are well known, including "The Ugly Duckling" and Philip's previously published version of "The Snow Queen" ; some will be new to most readers. The design will make this a popular gift book in bookstores, and storytellers in classrooms and libraries will also find it a dramatic collection. In his fine introduction Philip says that Andersen, the awkward, ugly duckling, became a magnificent swan when writing his fairy tales, that he combined the oral tradition with the intimate secrets of his life and thoughts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783836526753
  • Publisher: Taschen America, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/15/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 116,693
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Christian Andersen

The author:
Hans Christian Andersen was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense, Denmark, a day that has since become known as International Children’s Book Day. An only child with a voracious imagination and creative streak, Andersen was nurtured in his education by his father as well as several key sponsors. Andersen wrote novels, poems, and 168 tales, many of which have become international classics. By the end of his life, Andersen’s tales had made him famous, and he was deemed a “national treasure” by the Danish government.

The editor:
TASCHEN editor Noel Daniel graduated from Princeton University, and studied in Berlin on a Fulbright Scholarship. She received a master’s in London and was the director of a photography art gallery before becoming a book editor. Her TASCHEN books include The Circus 1870–1950 (2008), Magic 1400s–1950s (2009), and two illustrated volumes of fairy tales: The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2011) and The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (2013).


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

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