It's not easy being small, but in Brad Sneed's lovely new adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, at least life is full of adventure. Soon after being born from a fiery red flower, Thumbelina is kidnapped from home and pursued by many suitors, including a horrible toad, a bumbling beetle, and a grumpy moleuntil the plucky heroine finds a true love who fits her just right.
Sneed's rich, detailed watercolors are a true standout, illustrating the animals and natural world with remarkable realism and vibrancy. The story, lighthearted and lively, has a simple text that keeps the elegant flavor of the original tale, yet is perfect for a picture book audience.
Brad Sneed's fresh look at a well-loved fairy tale is simply sumptuous!
|Publisher:||Penguin Young Readers Group|
|Product dimensions:||9.00(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.37(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Hans Christian Andersen (1805—75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker, who nonetheless was a great reader, made a toy-theatre for his son and taught him to notice every natural wonder as they walked in the woods together on Sundays. His father died when he was eleven, and it wasn’t until six years later that, with the help of a patron, he finally went to a state secondary school attended by much youger children. There he suffered at the hands of a cruel headmaster, but he aquired an education and was determined to be a writer. He published his first novel and his first fairy tales in 1835; thereafter he wrote over 150 more of these stories which have become classics in many languages.
A lonely man who never married, he was also an anxious man; he loved travelling, but would carry a coil of rope with him in case of fire in his hotel. Although he originally addressed his fairy tales to children (and some would maintain he had a streak of childhood in his nature) he insisted they were ‘for all ages’, and the gentleness and humor that are their characteristics are recognized by everyone.
Date of Birth:April 2, 1805
Date of Death:August 4, 1875
Place of Birth:Odense, Denmark
Place of Death:Copenhagen, Denmark
Read an Excerpt
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lovely book - a Christmas gift for my 4 yr old great-granddaughter. I'm positive she will "read" it many times!
This is a sweetly illustrated fairly classic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale (only without the religious overtones that I think were part of the original telling). Basically Thumbelina is dragged around everywhere and nearly forced to marry a few suitors she doesn't like, but is helped out by a few friends. Finally she lands with the king of the fairies- a suitor she does like, and subsequently marries.
Despite my daughters love of the Susan Jeffers illustrated fairy tales, this Brad Sneed version always won out over the Jeffers version. This had to be give five stars for the sheer number of times it was requested at bedtime. The illustrations are sophisticated and almost haunting, far more depth than what you generally see on the market. You won't get tired of looking at this one. It begs to be seen over and over again. And of course, Thumbelina is the enchanting tale that it has always been. Who can resist the story of tiny girl in her nutshell bed/boat? Her escape from one kidnapping and arranged marriage after another are all very exciting, and her friendship with the bird who flies her to a prince always set my little girl to drift into a happy sleep.
The familiar Hans Christian Andersen story of Thumbelina has received the royal treatment from Susan Jeffers. Her large, lovely pictures make this seem like you are stepping into the story for the first time. Thumbelina is so dainty and sweet that it's no wonder the toad wishes to marry her but poor Thumbelina has a harrowing time escaping from her warty suitor. Share a trumpet vine blossom with Thumbelina, a pair of hummingbirds and a fat bumble bee or take a ride with her on the back of a gallant swallow. This whole story is enchanting from start to finish and the pictures are a delight!