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The Red Shoes


A contemporary retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic beautifully illustrated by artist Sun Young Yoo.

Karen's great pride, her red shoes, doom her to dance forever, until a drastic action and much repentance and suffering bring her the forgiveness she has craved.

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Hardcover (Illustrate)
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A contemporary retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic beautifully illustrated by artist Sun Young Yoo.

Karen's great pride, her red shoes, doom her to dance forever, until a drastic action and much repentance and suffering bring her the forgiveness she has craved.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Newcomer Fowler recasts this fairy tale as a girl-power story. Karen revels in the red shoes her mother gave her (without the moral judgment of Andersen's version), foils the queen's attempts to take them and goes into business as a shoemaker. Her creations come, Fowler points out, a bit flat-footedly, "from Karen's own imagination, creativity, and hard work." Debut illustrator Yoo, by contrast, steps lightly. Printed in subdued black on cream-colored stock, her pen-and-ink drawings convey a real sense of movement, with sweeping tresses, draping skirts, swirls of flower petals and menacing vines and branches. Bold angles and graceful use of white space add to the sophisticated air. In Fowler's text, clunky asides and elements from traditional fairy tales ("The queen proclaimed that if in three days Karen did not turn over the red shoes, the executioner would have to cut off her feet to remove them") detract somewhat, but the message about spirit and initiative comes through clearly. Visually stunning, this will be an excellent fit for readers fascinated by glamour. Ages 4-up. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
As is true of many Hans Christian Andersen stories, there is a dark edge to this tale. Karen longs for a pair of red shoes she spies in town, and hoards her pennies. Soon, her simple pleasures are forgotten, consumed by her fantasies about the fabulous shoes. Finally, she wears them to a great ball and learns that the shoes have truly come to control her as they had controlled her thoughts. Dancing endlessly, she endures the elements and another encounter with the malevolent shoemaker who fashioned the shoes. Will the spell be broken? Detailed illustrations convey Karen's descent into fantasy and deepening distress.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-6

A retelling of the much darker Hans Christian Andersen tale. Karen, daughter of the town shoemaker, is poor, but dreams of the day when she can make beautiful shoes. Her mother has been constructing a pair from leftover scraps of red leather as a birthday surprise, but becomes ill and dies. Heartbroken, Karen wears the red shoes to the funeral. When an evil queen demands to have them within three days even though they "had grown fast" to Karen's feet, the girl finds a solution with the help of her mother's spirit. Unlike the didactic Andersen tale, all ends well for the shoemaker's daughter as she learns that she can realize her dreams. This book is exceptionally well illustrated with intricate black line drawings that dominate the cream-colored pages and add drama and intensity to the simple text. The endpapers have multiple shoe designs.-C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934429068
  • Publisher: Ammo Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Edition description: Illustrate
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 395,447
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Artist Sun Young Yoo first encountered Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale of taboo desire, The Red Shoes, as a child, and its impact left a lasting impression. This modern interpretation of this classic story is original and visually compelling. Sun Young's exquisite, labor intensive, hand done pen and ink drawings are both technically masterful and artistically stunning.

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