Thumbelinaby Tom Roberts, Hans Christian Andersen
The two lived happily together until an ugly old toad snuck in and snatched Thumbelina away. So began Thumbelina
Once upon a time there was a woman who was sad because she had no children. One day she planted a magic seed and from the seed grew a flower. Inside the flower was a tiny, exquisite girl no bigger than the woman's thumb. Her name was Thumbelina.
The two lived happily together until an ugly old toad snuck in and snatched Thumbelina away. So began Thumbelina's adventures in a world full of dangers for little people. Luckily, size isn't all that matters, and Thumbelina's kindness and courage bring her long-lasting happiness.
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Once upon a time there was a woman whose only desire was to have a tiny little child. Now she had no idea where she could get one, so she went to an old witch and asked her: "Please, could you tell me where I could get a tiny little child? I would so love to have one."
"That is not so difficult," said the witch. "Here is a grain of barley; it is not the kind that grows in the farmer's fields or that you can feed to the chickens. Plant it in a flowerpot and watch what happens."
Excerpted from Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen. Translation copyright (c) 1974 by Erik Haugaard. Illustrations copyright (c) 1996 by Arlene Graston. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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