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1. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen
2. Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete
3. The Classic Treasury of Hans Christian
4. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales
5. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy
6. Fairy Tales From Hans Christian
7. Tales of Hans Christian Andersen:
8. Hans Christian Andersen: The Life
9. The True Story of My Life
10. Favourite Tales from Hans Christian
11. The Complete Fairy Tales - Hans
12. Stories from Hans Christian Andersen
13. Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales (Puffin
14. Fairy Tales of Hans Christian
15. The Little Matchstick Girl (Classic
16. The Ugly Duckling
17. Stories from Andersen
18. Andersen's Fairy Tales
19. The Ugly Duckling (Caldecott Honor
20. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy

1. The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen (The Annotated Books)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2007-11-17)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393060810
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A richly entertaining and informativecollectionof Hans ChristianAndersen's stories, annotatedby one of America's leading folklorescholars.In her most ambitious annotated work to date,Maria Tatar celebrates the stories told byDenmark's "perfect wizard" and re-envisionsHans Christian Andersen as a writer who castshis spell on both children and adults.Andersen's most beloved tales, such as "TheEmperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling,"and "The Little Mermaid," are now joined by "The Shadow" and "Story of a Mother," mature storiesthat reveal his literary range and depth. Tatarcaptures the tales' unrivaled dramatic andvisual power, showing exactly how Andersenbecame one of the world's ten most translatedauthors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, andMarx. Lushly illustrated with more than onehundred fifty rare images, many in full color,by artists such as Arthur Rackham and EdmundDulac, The Annotated Hans ChristianAndersen will captivate readers withannotations that explore the rich social andcultural dimensions of the nineteenth centuryand construct a compelling portrait of a writerwhose stories still fascinate us today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Collection of Andersen's work
This is a lovely collection.The cover and pages are beautiful.The annotations are great if you like more background and information.I would recommend this product.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen
I learned things about Hans Christian Andersen that will forever change the way I regard his fairy tales.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Personal, the Political, The Poignant and the Poetic
This is a fascinating. I read the "Annotated Alice in Wonderland" as a kid (which like this with the annotations contains some information that would be distressing to children or above their level) and could peer into the world of the author and in this case since I was familiar with only some of the stories (as some have dated) to see a complete sociological, psychological and cultural analysis really brings them into a new light and sees Hans Christian Anderson as more than just a writer of "fairy tales" (actually cultural mythology) and a full fledged writer. This is a perfect read to an autobiography about his life and his complete lack of relations with either sex, repression of his sexuality and disability but the analysis is here is not just about him, its about the stories in a larger context. For example, "The Little Match Girl" is in reference to his mother who was forced to beg on the streets, in its reference to her obstracizement by society was clearly referring to how he was treated and its references to being "left out in the cold" refer to both the experience of depression as well as the literal frigid climate of Denmark. This still is a children's classic but in this light it is understood much better but one that is a story that could be appreciated by adults "Aunty Toothache" speaks of the cynicism of an ominous repressive, Freudian, maternal figure who forces him not to write poetry or he will suffer massive toothaches (which he did throughout his life). This was written at the end of his life as he was dying and it was a lament to how he forced himself not to write poetry perhaps to avoid confronting his sexuality. And it is a disturbing semi-gothic story. And if these aspects escaped you they didn't escape Oscar Wilde who was directly inspired by them. So who's to say who had the last laugh? So you can find the more appropriate stories and read them to your young children and then appreciate the annotations and both of you will gain something although you exist in seperate worlds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another gem in the 'annotated' series
Ever since taking some literature courses to complete my degree, I've been fascinated by fairy tales. These stories can be enjoyed on a very basic level, but in order to understand the context, one often needs to know more about the author, the time of the writing, and what the characters and story line connote for the writer and his or her readers - at the time it was written. Using a very simple format of narrow text with wide margins to contain the annotations, this book allows the reader to read the story only, or read the notes only, or read a combination thereof, or, just look at the fascinating pictures and engravings as copied from the original editions. The dust jacket is colorful and ornate, and the paper is crisp, easy on the eye, with error free print. In short, this book will appeal to old and young, scholars and casual readers, and even those just looking for a pretty book to put on the shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time

This beautifully produced book contains 12 tales for children and 12 short stories for adults. There are almost 150 illustrations, many in color, from classic editions of Andersen's works. The colored images by Clarke, Dulas, Nielsen and Lorenz Frolich are splendid, as are the many ink drawings by W. Heath Robinson.

Maria Tatar edited The Annotated Brothers Grimm and The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. She and Julie K. Allen translated the stories, and Tatar provides many annotations. Example: "The Ugly Duckling" is "the most deeply personal of Anderson's stories, a narrative that traces his trajectory from humble origins to a literary aristocracy."

Tatar is eloquent on the importance of Andersen: "We need to engage our critical faculties in order to understand what makes these stories so emotionally addictive. Why have these Danish cultural stories taken hold in the United States to become instruments for navigating childhood? How do the stories enable the reader to get lost in the book, to drink the heady elixir of fantasy? And how do they arouse the intellectual curiosity of children?"

Tatar argues that Andersen's descriptive techniques create moments with "ignition power" that kindle the imagination. "Andersen's descriptions of beauty can weave spells. They create an adrenaline rush so that you begin to read with the spine rather than the brain. These luminous moments energize the mind, leading the reader to read on to explore perils and possibilities, but also to dig deeper."

"The Emperor's New Clothes" exemplifies Andersen's narrative powers. "When I reread the tale I remembered how as a child I had started to imagine what the cloth looked like. Even though it is invisible, the swindlers and the adults describe the cloth as silky and beautiful, with gossamer designs ... and Andersen invests so much narrative energy in describing the invisible cloth that, ironically, it begins to dazzle in the mind's eye. That is what Andersen can do -- he lights up the imagination."

The short stories were new to me and have some interest seen through Tatar's eyes. But these new translations of the old favorites like "The Snow Queen" or "The Little Mermaid" are just as magical as ever.

Robert C. Ross2008 ... Read more

2. Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (Anchor Folktale Library)
by Hans Christian Andersen, Erik Christian Haugaard
Paperback: 1120 Pages (1983-09-09)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$14.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385189516
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Presents 156 tales accompanied by the author's notes on the background of his stories. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Haugaard or Hersholt? A comparison...
(This review compares Haugaard's translation to the Jean Hersholt version, available at Barnes and Noble in a one-volume, leather bound, gift edition)
Reliability or readability -- what is more important in a translation? Most versions aim at a balance between the two, but whether one is translating the Bible or H.C.A., translations invariably tend more towards one than the other!
The Haugaard version reads extremely well. It runs very smoothly and is made to be read out loud. But experts have pointed out that at times, it tends to sacrifice accuracy to readability. Andersen's original Danish prose does not always run smoothly, and is sometimes choppy and deliberately awkward.
Andersen's original style is reflected better in the Jean Hersholt version, which does not read as well out loud, but tends to be more faithful to the original Danish. It is better suited for silent reading or study, often sacrificing readability for accuracy. (Also available on-line at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre Website, set up by the University of Southern Denmark)
In short, storytellers will prefer Haugaard for storytelling and reading out loud, while scholars will give prority to Hersholt for study purposes. But why not buy both?

3-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive collection, few flaws
This book provides a comprehensive collection of Hans Christian Andersen's works. There is no rhyme or reason to their arrangement in the book and it can be a little hard to find a particular tale in the table of contents. My book is also missing pages 467-470 which is the end of "The Piggy Bank" and the beginning of "Ib & Little Christina". If you need all of the tales this is pretty much it!

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute for the fairy tale completist
Now some of these tales are out there, but all offer some amusement. Some may not make any sense (i.e. the endings seem incomplete or "off") and they may not be on par with the Grimms tales, but it's nice to have all of these in one place and to be able to read tales that I have never heard of or come across over the years. If you are making a collection of myths and fairy tales, this collection is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Favorites!
Every child should read Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales a first introduction to fantasy and modern tales of today. The book is great for adults also. Many stories I recall from my own childhood as I devoured the fairy tales that are enduring and lasting as classics forever.
Evelyn Horan - author
Jeannie, A Texas Frontier Girl, Books One - Three

4-0 out of 5 stars The Ugly Duckling.The Little Mermaid. It's all here!
The Ugly Duckling.The Little Mermaid.The Tinderbox.The Emperor's New Clothes.The Princess and the Pea.It's all here!

C. S. Lewis, in his preface to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," observed that as children we grow out of hearing fairy tales, but as an adult we can come back to them with fresh eyes and be enchanted in a different way.HCA stories have that amphibian quality of living above and below the supposed age limits.

I find it surprising that HCA writing in a minor language would be so popular, but he is a genius at writing fairy tales.The Grimm Boys just collected and edited the German fairy tales, but HCA was generating new and original fairy tales.I hope we don't sluff off this unique talent he had solely on the ground that he was writing to children.After all, how many naked Emperors have we seen?The comic Dilbert gets it's life blood from the fact that so many emperors can be smooth-talked by so many charlatans, and be sustained in their delusion by smarmy sycophants, and only brought to light by a child.

If children can understand this, why can't we adults?

On the printing-side of the book, I would like to see this in a hardbound, with durable paper, and not the thin and fragile newsprint.I am almost afraid to read this book since the opaper is so delicate! ... Read more

3. The Classic Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen
by Hans Christian Andersen, Christian Birmingham
Hardcover: 56 Pages (2002-08-26)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$43.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076241393X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Award-winning English illustrator Christian Birmingham--one of the rising stars of children's illustration--brings eight time-honored fairy tales to life in dazzling, full-color artwork for this charming collection. Sure to become a treasured part of any childhood library, this sumptuously illustrated book includes the read-aloud favorites The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, and The Princess and the Pea.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Classic Treasury of Hans Christian Anderson
This book is a classic and hard to find. I gave it to a friend who loves to read to her grandkids.
I think we need to go retro in some of our reading.


3-0 out of 5 stars Strictly a children's version
I love Andersen's fairy tales, and was disappointed to find that, though the illustrations are lovely, this is only an edited selection of a few tales. It is suitable as a gift for a child, but not for anyone seriously interested in Andersen's original work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Andersen memories
The glorious adventures found in Andersen's book gave my imagination
a scaffold to climb.I still remember, at four, sitting near my mother on the sofa, looking at the full-color pictures, as she read about Thumbelina, the Tinder Box, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Does it get any better than that?

I have grown up loving fairy tales, and I collect books of fairy tales. I happened to be at [the store] one day, sometime before Christmas, and I noticed Christian Birmingham's book of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol". I looked at it for a while, surprised that I haven't seen any of this illustrator's previous work. I continued to look around and I found "The Classic Treasury Of Hans Christian Andersen". I looked at it, and was amazed at how magical and beautiful the illustrations were. All of the illustrations in this book capture the timeless fairy tales of Andersen perfectly. I was once again reunited with some of the stories I grew up loving like "The Little Mermaid", "The Little Match Girl", among others.
The luminous illustrations complement the black and white drawings so that it's just the right amount of artwork to capture pivotal scenes from the stories without overdoing it. I love the color illustrations of Thumblina flying through the air with her bird friend, the black and white drawing of the Little Mermaid saving the prince from drowning, the color illustration of the nightingale signing on the branch of blossoms as the captivated people watch it, and the black and white drawing of the Little Match Girl being taken to Heaven by her Grandmother. These are truly beautiful stories brought to life by an outstanding illustrator. Although you would expect all fairy tales to have perfectly happy endings, many of Andersen's do not. It is up to the reader to decide if the endings are happy or not. I would say they are bittersweet, but beautiful just the same. Anyone who is looking for an excellent book of these stories, or just for a good picture book, I HIGHLY recommend this!!! ... Read more

4. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2006-02-16)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$13.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698400356
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Lisbeth Zwerger is one of the world’s preeminent children’s book artists, andone of the most original interpreters of Hans Christian Andersen’s classicfairytales. This handsome collection, originally published in 1991 nowreturns in celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s 200th birthday. Itincludes eleven favorite stories, such as "The Princess and the Pea" and "TheEmperor’s New Clothes," as well as lesser-knownbut equally wonderful stories, all featuring Ms.Zwerger’s distinctively elegant, witty illustrations.This superb anthology is bound to become atreasured part of every child’s library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely beautiful illustrations
If you're looking at this , you probably know Hans Christian Andersen, so there is no point in my reviewing the stories, and I don't speak Danish, so I can't comment on the translation. The book itself is very well put together. The illustrations really set this version apart and are perfect for the stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart Breaking
Most of Andersen's Tales are dark, even a bit scary and many are truly heart breaking. Even though they are described as fairy tales, they can be enjoyed far more by adults. Children may enjoy the well known tales which are actually the simplest, but most can be enjoyed only by grown ups.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales
I have most all of the books illustrated by Lizbeth Zwerger.She is the most incredible artist.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures BUT scary fairytales
The illustrations are beautiful, unique, inspiring and very magic. But despite the fact that the fairytales are by Andersen and some of them are parents-approved classics, some are less known and very scary. Just read it to yourself, before you read it to your child (or remove a couple of pages with the most awfull stories out from the book, like I did, even though I believe book vandalizing is a sin and crime. ... Read more

5. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales (Webster's Spanish Thesaurus Edition)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Paperback: 206 Pages (2008-06-04)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001CV8J6I
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of synonyms and antonyms for difficult and often ambiguous English words that are encountered in other works of literature, conversation, or academic examinations. Extremely rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority in the notes compared to words which are ¿difficult, and often encountered¿ in examinations. Rather than supply a single synonym, many areprovided for a variety of meanings, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of the English language, and avoid using the notes as a pure crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not noted on a page, chances are that it has been highlighted on a previous page. A more complete thesaurus is supplied at the end of the book; synonyms and antonyms are extracted from Webster's Online Dictionary.

PSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE¿, AP¿ and Advanced Placement¿ are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Tales
The book is indeed great, but our generation might not be able to get its full insight as time goes on.

2-0 out of 5 stars Look Elsewhere... Careless Kindle Adaptation
I bought this for my Kindle and removed it within minutes. The table of contents does NOT link to the stories. The book title on my Kindle home page even has gibberish characters. This is a careless and sloppy adaptation. Stay away from this offering until at least someone fixes the issues mentioned. Even at $.99 this is overpriced.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good choice for 5-6 year olds
An impressive version of beloved fairy tales. Easy to comprehend for children, and beautifully illustrated.
The only regret is that some of the well known fairly tales are missing in this selection. Otherwise, I do recommend it.
... Read more

6. Fairy Tales From Hans Christian Andersen (1910)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 444 Pages (2008-06-02)
list price: US$51.95 -- used & new: US$35.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1436615666
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishings Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the worlds literature. Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Some nude art
We bought this book to share the stories with my 4 year old son.The stories are excellent, of course.The illustrations are simply gorgeous, by far the best I have seen for any fairy tale collection.However, one should be aware that some illustrations for The Little Mermaid have nude figures.They are beautiful, it's just something that I thought would be nice to know as a parent.I am very glad we bought it, though we will probably avoid reading The Little Mermaid for a few years.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate Illustrations
I grew up on and admire the tales of Hans Christian Anderson, and I was hoping to find a good volume to read to my 4 year old and introduce her to the wonders of classical literature.I will not, sadly, be using this particular collection because the 'beautiful' illustrations are littered with naked children, cherubs, and mermaids.While there is nothing terribly indecent, the fact is I teach my children that is is inappropriate to walk about naked, and reading a book to her in which the characters seem to have no problem doing so may conflict with the wonderful morals which Anderson's stories teach us.

Very 'classical' illustrations... in the sense that the statue of David is 'classical'.Just because indecency is an ancient tradition does not make it acceptable in a book of children's stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anderson's Fairy Tales
I was very pleased with this book when I received it, the illustrations are beautiful. This edition of Anderson's work contains most of his well-known fairy tales, and I loved the fact that all the stories were kept the way he originally wrote them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning Artwork
Besides the gorgeous artwork the stories are written as I remember them
from my childhood as opposed to some really,truly horrendous Hans Christian Andersen collections I have seen where the language has been modernized and the stories changed to protect delicate sensibilities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Destined to be a Collectors Item
A superb collection of nine favorite H.C.A. stories (see below), wonderously illustrated with something like a hundred hig-quality reproductions, at least half of which are full-page, drawn from the work of twenty of the greatest artists from the "Golden Age" of children's book illustration (around the turn of the century). The art is simply mind-blowingly beautiful.

The tellings themselves are very fine. The language used is both delightful and sophisticated, making this a fine volume to entertain good readers amongst older children, and to expand their language skills. Of course, less able readers and younger children might like the stories just as well if they were read to them. There is no information in the book or on the publishers website regarding the origins of these particular tellings.

A sample paragraph, from "Thumbelina":

"Then they came to the warm lands. The sun was shining much more brightly, the sky was twice as high, and the most wonderful green and black grapes were growing by the roadside and on fences. Lemons and oranges hung in the forests, and there was a scent of myrtle and curled mint, and pretty children were running by the roadside playing with big colorful butterflies. But the swallow flew still further, and everything became even more beautiful. There, beneath magnificent green trees by a blue lake, stood a shining white palace, with vines climbing up it's lofty pillars. At the top were lots of swallows' nests, and the swallow carrying Thumbelina lived in one of them."

This collection contains the following stories:

The Emperor's New ClothesThe Little MermaidThe Little Match GirlThe NightingaleThe Princess and the PeaThe Steadfast Tin SoldierThumbelinaThe TinderboxThe Ugly Duckling

The compilers, Russell Ash and Bernard Higton, must be very proud of the beautiful object they have produced. The publisher, Cronicle Books, deserves praise and support.

This book is a must, either for the child's library or the collectors shelf. ... Read more

7. Tales of Hans Christian Andersen: Candlewick Illustrated Classic
by Hans Christian Andersen
Paperback: 208 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763648922
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Candlewick Illustrated Classics are collectible editions that bring treasured stories to life with lavish full-color illustrations and elegant French flaps.

This superb collection of thirteen Andersen tales includes “The Princess and the Pea,” “Thumbelina,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Snow Queen.” Naomi Lewis’s translations brilliantly capture Andersen’s irresistible humor and conversational tone, and a whole host of memorable characters are brought to life in Joel Stewart’s fresh and whimsical illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen is one book no children's library should be without - especially this edition. London artist Joel Stewart brings new excitement to well loved stories with wonderfully imaginative illustrations. The Ugly Duckling was never more triumphant; The Little Mermaid more endearing.

I think the publishers have done children and their parents a real service in offering beautifully illustrated classics in sturdy softcover at very reasonable prices.

- Gail Cooke

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation
Though the illustrations are scarce, the pieces are artistic and interesting.It would be hard to keep the attention of a very young child because it is so text heavy.Often the translation is a little clumsey and doesn't roll off the tounge well...just one more reason to read aloud slowly so that children can understand and comprehend the content.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering Hans Christian Andersen
I am way above the recommended age for this book, I picked this up on a whim.My childhood's first memories is reading Andersen fairy tales. They were always the oddball stories that didn't conform to any typical mode: most of them included death (Matchgirl, Little Mermaid), had unconventional heroes (Tin Soldier - what kind of hero has one leg?) weren't all sugar-spice-n-everything-nice, and whimsical in the right place.They were inscrutable and strange to a child,but because of or in spite of that, they stuck with you.

I'm moved to write a review for this children's book for one reason only: the annotation is superb!I never knew that Andersen worked with toy theatre, or there were parallels in his life and The Ugly Duckling, that he came from poverty and never completely overcame the inferiority complex from his low birth.He was the first to adopt a conversational voice in his story-telling, also the first to give human characteristics and voice to inanimate objects.The details with which he embelished his stories is genius and brilliant; re-reading the description of the Little Mermaid's undersea world confirms that.His fairy tales have a literary element: the details, the drama, the dissonance, the untidiness of reallife.I don't think I understood all that when I was 8 or 9, but I wish someone had read this book with me when I was 8 or 9, and explained to me the vanguard genius of Andersen.

The stories are beautifully translated, the illustration is fetching, although I don't get the drama-set vibes.There is annotation preceding every tale, and it takes an adult to read and explain this to a young reader.For example, preceding The Little Mermaid, there is a small paragraph dealing with the soul.Young readers will need help with the concept and vocab.I'm happy to have re-discovered Andersen fairy tales through this book, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who grew up with the inscrutable Andersen, adult or child.A great book for the future lit studies post-doc, and his/her lit studies post-doc parents. ... Read more

8. Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller
by Jackie Wullschlager
Paperback: 506 Pages (2002-06-15)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226917479
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Beloved by generations of children and adults around the world for tales such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes," Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) revolutionized children's literature. Although others before him had collected and retold folk stories and fairy tales, Andersen was the first to create the stories himself, instilling a previously stilted genre with new humor, wisdom, and pathos.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and other original sources (many never before translated from the Danish), Wullschlager shows in this compelling, extensively researched biography how Andersen's writings—darker and more diverse than previously recognized—reflected the complexities of his life, a far cry from the "happily ever after" of a fairy tale. As we follow in his footsteps from Golden Age Copenhagen to the princely courts of Germany and the villas of southern Italy, Andersen becomes a figure every bit as fascinating as a character from one of his stories—a gawky, self-pitying, and desperate man, but also one of the most gifted storytellers the world has ever known.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Bio of the Great Dane!
There are three Hans Christian Andersen biographies on the market: byAlison Prince (1998), Jackie Wullschlager (2000), and Jens Andersen (no relation -- 2004).
The later is the weakest, because the author is hesitant to reveal too much about Andersen's personal life. Being Danish, he cannot ruffle too many feathers, since he still has to live with the descendants of these people! The other two are British...
The Wullschlager biography takes a Freudian approach -- quite revealing as to Andersen's sex life, and ties in the major events of his life to his fairy tales and stories. It does an excellent job in both those areas. The storyteller's friend!
However, the most revealing of the three is the Prince -- it takes over where the Wullschlager left off. Andersen's homosexuality is a given, with the "politics" of oppression and repression well expressed. But it also presents the main events of his life in a brand new light: Andersen may not have been Mr and Mrs Andersen's little boy! A royal bastard, probably the son of the Crown Prince who later became king of Denmark. This sheds a whole new light on the "hidden" meaning of such masterpieces of Andersen's as THE UGLY DUCKLING!
So please avoid the Andersen, read the Wullschlager first, then compare with the Prince -- it will be a thrilling experience in biography reading, I promise you!

3-0 out of 5 stars Hans Christian Andersen
Very interesting book and a good read--having heard of Andersen most of my life, it was good to read about him.The book lays to rest the image of Andersen created by Danny Kaye in the (albiet interesting) misleading musical version of Hans Christian's life.The book chronicles the master storyteller's incredible ambition and drive to make something of himself, despite his poverty-stricten background, and thoroughly examines the demons (both physical and psychological) that encompassed his life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Me thinks the Author doth Obsess too much.
I picked up this book looking to get some insight into the mind of Hans Christian Andersen, and to some extent I did, but in an almost disturbing way, I got a stronger sense of the biographer herself.

The reader of this book will get to know Andersen's family's origins (although not enough), his life as a child (again, not enough), the places he lived, those he knew and a lot about what they might have thought of him. There is a minor amount of information given about why or when Andersen wrote certain books or stories -- and this is where the book falls tragically short.

Instead of delving into the mind of Andersen or the world that created him, the readers should prepare themselves for page after page of the author's fixation with how clumsy Andersen's behavior was with colleagues and friends and her conclusions about Andersen's sex life. Some of this might even be true, but at times the stories are presented just to titillate instead of lending insight with any genuine caring. To a larger degree, I think the author missed the point of Andersen's dilemma entirely.

The issue for Andersen might be that he was socially and sexually immature -- for his age and at any age -- whether as a teenager or as an adult. And that he had deeper issues of inferiority that could have stemmed from a number of sources, the least of which his issues with being born into a lower class of society than he might have liked. Between the lines of the stories of his life, it seems pretty clear that Andersen did not have enough self-worth to have more conventional or even reciprocal friendships. The author draws this conclusion briefly later in the book but you're going to have to sit through a lot of saucy and editorialized excerpts of his letters. For me, the biographer's point seemed labored, like she enjoyed it too much.

Additionally it should be noted (even though the author doesn't draw this conclusion in her book) that it's a fairly widely held opinion that Andersen probably suffered from Aspergers Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism that leaves the individual socially un-evolved while being highly skilled at more intellectual pursuits. Setting up one mocking scenario after scenario, as the author does in this book, might be one way of relaying the facts but in the end the author comes across as no better than the stories she tells of the haughty girls who mocked Andersen throughout his life. It's like picking on a handicapped child. Cruel; and leads the reader nowhere.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is I would have preferred the author spent more time on how Andersen's environment shaped him, how he spent his day, how he wrote his stories, where he drew his inspiration, how his writings altered other writing of the day, etc. The sexual speculation and the repeated focus on the negative effects of his ego raising behavior -- were not so interesting and come across as lacking any useful insight into Andersen or her having any meaningful literary ability.

As a matter of respect for Andersen's body of work, and more to the point, to be taken seriously as a biographer, the author might have tried to present a vision of Andersen that delves beyond the tawdry and superficial.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tale Rationale
No true artist is really ever content in the age in which they live. Artists naturally resist time, space and matter. Given that, living in Europe during the 1800s must have been tedious for a man of Hans Christian Andersen's (b. 1805, d. 1875), passion and vision. In Andersen's case, writing became his way of transcending matter, of becoming timeless and immortal.

Author Jackie Wullschlager writes a thoroughly researched biography of the quirky genius. While I loved this book, I gave it three stars because I completely disagree with her premise that Andersen was a "victim" of classism and elitism and that his work was inspired in opposition to this.

Andersen pushed gender, sexual, social and artistic boundries so effortlessly that I have to believe it was instinctive not contrived. Isn't it every artists' lament that they are misunderstood? And isn't it every biographer's urge to explain it for them? All artists share the very same yearnings, complications, misunderstandings, restlessness and even nuttiness that Andersen did.

Quite simply there is no answer as to what informs any of their work. It just is. Mortals like us have to accept their magic gracefully. I certainly wish Wullschlager had.

5-0 out of 5 stars J. Wullschlager's Hans Christian Andersen - our dear friend
A well-researched critical, yet sympathetic biography of the complex brilliance which was Hans Christian Andersen.
When you reach the pages describing his death, you feel like you have lost a dear friend. HCA was known for his children's fiction, but in fact, many of his works are for adults.This biography is particularly interesting as it gives some insight into his little known adult works, together with his character, and places his work in the cultural context in Europe in which it found itself. ... Read more

9. The True Story of My Life
by Hans Christian Andersen
 Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-19)
list price: US$44.99
Asin: B003WJQ6U4
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Translated by Mary Howitt ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An awesome autobiography of a well loved author.
Art imitates life in this poignant and poetic rendering of the life of one of my favorite childhood authors.Just a great and wonderful read. ... Read more

10. Favourite Tales from Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 80 Pages (2002-03)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$19.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 086315347X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A new collection of the best-known tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark’s most famous storyteller. whose tales have been translated and told all around the world. This collection is exquisitely illustrated by the Russian artist Anastasiya Archipova, who has also illustrated Favourite Grimm’s Tales.

Included are The Little Mermaid, The Little Match-Seller, The Swineherd, The Princess and the Pea, The Brave Tin Soldier, The Snow Queen, The Fir Tree, and The Emperor’s New Suit. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
am extremely fussy about the quality of literature I read to my children. We have a huge bookshelf full of children's books. This one takes the prize on so many levels;

1. Quality and beauty of the writing, its use of poetic words and sentence structure.
2. Not dumbed down for children, therefore challenges their thinking and imagination, while also retaining its original messages about virtues and goodness.
3. Exquisite pictures.
4. Keeps my son's attention more than anything. He has learnt far more from this book than any other.
5. Not boring for adults who have to read the stories unteen times!

I have not found a better version of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales.

The Swineherd and The Snow Queen are exquisite! Though there are a couple of stories I wouldn't read to my children. "The Christmas Tree" in this form is not for children, despite the sound of the name, but a haunting and brutally honest story for adults nevertheless.

After reading Archipova's fairy-tale versions, it's difficult to return to other books, since everything else thereafter sounds inferior to the ear!

I keep returning to this book and her Grimms fairy tales books time and again. I haven't found anything else out there with the same quality and I could have saved a lot of money by simply buying this, the Grimms one and our other favorite The Little Troll. That's all you need!

Here is the IBSN for the Grimms collection;

The other book is this one;
ISBN-10: 0863153186 ... Read more

11. The Complete Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Andersen (Wordsworth Classics)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Paperback: 1184 Pages (1998-01-05)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$10.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1853268992
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, the son of a shoemaker. His early life was wretched, but he was adopted by a patron and became a short-story writer, novelist and playwright, though he remains best-known for his magical fairy tales which were published between 1835 and 1872. For 150 years his stories have been delighting both adults and children. Packed with a light-hearted whimsy combined with a mature wisdom they are as entrancing as ever. Here are all of Andersen's 168 tales, and among the favourites are 'The Red Shoes', 'The Mermaid', 'The Real Princess', 'The Emperor's New Clothes', The Tinder Box' and of course 'The Ugly Duckling'. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Trove of Classics.
It is a delight to have all of these wonderful tales in one volume. Filled with such classic works as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes", as well as many excellent less well knownstories. Anderson artfully depicts situations that deliver a valuable moralas well as descriptive, elaborate, and often whimsical characters, andsurroundings. Anderson's refined techniques and brilliant, unique ideasmake this book an exceptional addition to anyone's library. This collectioncan, and should be an essential part of anyone's litterary diet. ... Read more

12. Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (Calla Editions)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 328 Pages (2008-11-18)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$21.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1606600001
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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For over 150 years, the enchanting fairy tales of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen have delighted people all over the world. This beautifully designed treasury gathers his most beloved tales in a gilt-stamped, hardcover edition, illustrated with 28 full-color images by Golden Age artist Edmund Dulac. Filled with such favorites as "The Snow Queen," "The Nightingale," and "The Emperor's New Clothes," this masterful collection will warm the hearts of families and book lovers everywhere.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous reproduction of the classic - Calla Editions books are worth every penny!
I loved the Calla Editions' issue of Poe's stories, and when I saw this particular edition, I knew it would give me immense pleasure. It certainly has! The book is larger than a regular hardcover, I would call it an oversized book. This 2008 Calla deluxe edition is an unabridged republication of "Stories from Hans Andersen", originally published by Hodder & Stoughton, New York, and London, in 1911. The paper is of heavy stock, one can literally feel the heft of each page! The color of the paper is a vanilla hue, and it is bound in Kennett Cloth, with a gorgeous light brown cover. The font is large and pleasing to the eye (it doesn't mention what type of font style is used), and apart from decorative elements peppered throughout, the highlight of this book is the 28 color plates, containing illustrations by Edmund Dulac, one of the most renowned artists from the Golden Age of children's book illustrations. These color plates appear glossy in this book, and one can literally feel the silky smooth texture of the illustrations! They are so beautiful and exquisite.

There are seven stories contained within - "The Snow Queen", "The Nightingale", "The Real Princess", "The Garden of Paradise", "The Mermaid", "The Emperor's New Clothes", and "The Wind's Tale". Each story has a couple of illustrations to accompany it, enhancing the reading experience. This is a must-have not just for collectors, but also for those who truly love perusing the beautiful illustrations contained in children's literature, and Dulac's illustrations are definitely one of the best. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reproduction of a classic edition.
This is a beautiful book! I have the 1st edition of this book, and Calla has done a wonderful job reproducing the look and feel of the original volume. The plates are not tipped in, but the color reproduction is very good and all details, such as typeset, decoration,endpapers,etc. are very faithful to the original. I hope Calla will reproduce other Golden Age editions in the future as I was very impressed by the quality of this edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellence in book publishing.
Beautifully done.It is everything you would hope it would be with regard to the craftsmanship and the illustration work.The stories themselves are hit and miss.There is a great deal of repetition between stories.It seems the stories were collected without much concern for how they played with the other stories in the book- at times it seems whole sections of stories mimicked each other nearly word for word.The stories are kind of violent- even beyond what you'd find in Brothers Grimm.Lots of needless violence committed by heroes.In one a hero is disguised as a bear to get close to a princess that was in fact his wife- in the course of the story he rips up two maids till "not a rag was left" and both the king and the princess's attitude was like -"oh well, it was just a maid".But despite the curious violence, the stories are a great peek into the entertainment of an earlier time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite reproduction of 1911 original
Please disregard the editorial reviews above these relate to some other product and are not related to this book at all. I hope Amazon removes them.

First the praiseworthy aspects of this tome, it is a large, luxurious book, beautiful heavy paper of a soft ivory hue used throughout. It has a quality cloth cover with gilt lettering, no dust jacket. This is an unabridged reproduction of the deluxe illustrated gift edition published by Hodder & Stoughton 1911 and is reprinted in its original large format with all 28 color plates and other decorative elements. Each page has an inset double border and two bars of elaborate floral motifs top and bottom. There are blank pages throughout with an embellished peacock feather motif. THe colour plates are large, glossy and rich with much detail, the ink sits thickly on the paper creating the effect of looking like paintings on the page. I have one small comment about modern reproductions of Dulac's early colour plates, they all look as though they have been scanned and then reprinted - I'm sure they probably have been as the original plates for these works must be long gone or perished so digital scanning is likely the only way to reproduce these works. The result is the images look slightly blurred and softened compared to the originals and a colour that in the originals is made up of many shades often reads as one solid colour, so the pictures are sometimes a bit monotone. I have compared the images in this book directly with the prints in the early editions of his books 1910-1920, much detail is lost and a lightness and brightness is missing. About one third of the pictures in this book I would call poor copies but two thirds I would call quite good. I have seen much better scans of his illustrations on websites on the internet and I don't understand why a publisher that prides itself on luxury editions can't do a much better job of scanning and reproducing these art works when the quality of Dulac's illustrations are the deciding factor in buying this book. However of all the recent (past 30 years) reproductions of Dulac's work that I have seen these are the best.Many of the reproductions from the 80's-90's are so dire I wouldn't waste your money buying them. So if you can't afford to buy one of the original 1911 editions this is the next best thing. I consider this book of such high quality you could expect to hand it down through the generations, and it would make a lovely gift. Of course the writing is wonderful, whimsical, delightful, storytelling as it used to be.

Stories: The Snow Queen, The Nightingale, The Real Princess (Princess and the Pea), The Garden of Paradise, The Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes and the Wind's Tale. To see inside the book check out Calla's website.

If Calla Editions read this please reprint more Edmund Dulac books. I would especially love to see Stories from Arabian Nights and Sleeping Beauty ... but any of his books would be wonderful to see.
... Read more

13. Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales (Puffin Classics)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Paperback: 181 Pages (2010-06-24)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$2.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141329017
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This enchanting collection, retold by writer and critic Naomi Lewis, contains twelve of Hans Christian Andersen's magnificent stories. It includes Thumbelina, a little girl no more than a thumb-joint high, "The Emperor's New Clothes", the tale of a man who cares only for his appearance and The Little Mermaid, who longs to one day marry a human prince. It includes a wonderful cover illustration and new introduction by award-winning picture-book creator Jan Pienkowski. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tales for All Ages
This is an extremely readable selection of 26, out of about 156, of Hans Andersen tales.As the brief but very fine and helpful introduction by Naomi Lewis points out, these tales are perhaps more for adults than children, as Andersen himself wanted them to be.Most of them have a darker side.I also believe that the eminent literary critic, Harold Bloom, includes Andersen in his select list of short story writers qualified to be part of the Western canon.I did prefer some of the collection's early and middle tales, such as "Little Claus and Big Claus," "The Travelling-Companion," and "The Little Mermaid" to a handful of the later ones like "She was Good for Nothing," or "The Family and the Gardener."It seems that Andersen's true imaginary gifts shine best where his writing is least in step with the real world.

4-0 out of 5 stars 12 short stories
The very short 1981 edition currently before me features black and white illustrations by Philip Gough, and was translated by Naomi Lewis.

There's been a trend lately for fantasy authors to take traditional fairy tales and retell them, either as novels (as in Mercedes Lackey's case, or Peggy Kerr's _The Wild Swans_) or short stories (Tanith Lee did this even before Terri Windling came along). Hans Christian Andersen's little gems *aren't* traditional folk tales - he did the work - but quite often serve to fuel such fires anyway.

The translator, Naomi Lewis, has included a brief introduction discussing Andersen's life and career, and a few pages of notes at the end of the book discussing the original publication and origins of each story herein.

"The Princess and the Pea", "Thumbelina", "The Emperor's New Clothes"

"The Little Mermaid" - If you're only familiar with the Disney version, I warn you that they discarded much of what makes this story truly great. When evaluating a translation of this story, a quick test is to check the last scene between the mermaid and her prince to see how well the translator captures the actions and feelings of the characters.

The youngest of the seven mer-princesses has always been more fascinated by her grandmother's tales of the world above than any of her sisters, but she has the longest to wait for her first trip to the surface on her fifteenth birthday. Since mer-folk turn into seafoam at the end of their 300 years of life and have no immortal souls, she is especially curious about her grandmother's tales of how humans, when they die, can rise into a higher world just as the merfolk rise to the ocean surface, but one the merfolk can never reach, save through a human's love. (Oscar Wilde once turned this upside-down in "The Fisherman and the Soul", a very good story in which a fisherman fell in love with a mermaid and magically cut himself free of his soul to join her in the sea.)

As each of the sisters in turn makes her first journey, we see the world through their eyes, and since each has a different temperament and their birthdays fall at different times of the year, each sees and seeks out different sights. But when the youngest princess' turn finally comes (her name is never given), she has experiences that even the 3rd sister (the most adventurous of the lot) never had: a prince's birthday celebration at sea is struck by a great storm, foundering his ship before her eyes.

"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" - A toy story.

"The Nightingale" - Try Lackey's _The Eagle and the Nightingales_.

"The Ugly Duckling"

"The Snow Queen" - Check out Joan D. Vinge's novel of the same name.

"The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep" - They're porcelain figures who have fallen in love, but when her grandfather arranges a marriage for her with a mahogany carving instead, they decide to run away together.

"The Happy Family" - One of Andersen's lesser-known stories, of a little family of snails who know that they're the most important people in the world. :)

"The Goblin at the Grocer's" - The poet rescued an old book of poetry from the grocer who was using it as scrap paper, and the household goblin took offense at what was said. But when he entered the poet's room to play him a spiteful trick, he got more than he bargained for.

"Dance, Dolly, Dance" - Very short story about a poem written for little Amalie and her dolls. ... Read more

14. Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
by H. C. (Hans Christian) Andersen
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKTDBS
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Wonderful Kindle Version of this Book
I do not have much to add to the foregoing reviews except that the active Table of Contents has the stories in alphabetical order so that you can easily get to your favorites.Access was very easy and quick.Don't waste your time on any other Kindle version of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of its Kind
I have been slowly (so veeeerrry slooooowlllly) working my way through all the Hans Christian Andersen books available for kindle. This is the only one I would suggest reading.

Not only does this version have an active table of contents and lack any of the distracting misplacement of page numbers and illustration names that several of the others have (although it's still not illustrated), but it contains what appears to be every story ever written by Hans Christian Andersen!

Long stories (The Ice Maiden), short stories (The Princess and the Pea), well-known stories (The Little Mermaid), unknown stories (She was Good for Nothing) and dozens of others are all contained within these e-ink pages!

They are also readable! This is not the case with some of the other HCA books on kindle. The stories are still really boring, occasionally tedious, generally depressing and often religious, but yet I can read them without wanting to scream and pull my hair out as I did with What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales. Instead they are somehow magically more approachable and I can almost remember why I loved Hans Christian Andersen so much as a child (selected stories from, at least).

So if you, like me, are determined to try and re-visit your childhood via fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen no matter what, at least take pity on yourself--or pity on your children if you're trying to read the stories to them--and read this version.

5-0 out of 5 stars connorcharlie
I had looked at several of Andersen's books on kindle. This is the best one I could find. It's free and very comprehensive (and long, goes past location 14000) There is an active table of contents, even though table of contents is grayed out on menu. ... Read more

15. The Little Matchstick Girl (Classic Fairy Tales)
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2008-06-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1605370088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Fearful of returning home to a violent father without having sold enough matches for the day, the Little Match Girl remains on the street resigned to warming herself by lighting matches. With each match, she sees a vision—a warm stove, a table laden with hot food, a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with lights leading up to the sky, so high that one becomes a shooting star. According to her grandmother, each shooting star is a person who had recently passed on and is now heading to heaven. Her next strike brings a vision of her grandmother—the only person in the world who ever loved the Little Match Girl—who takes her away in her warm embrace to heaven. The classic ending is intact here and accompanied by gentle, sensitive illustrations—children will return to this stirring tale often to understand its tragedy and the valuable lessons within.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

1-0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable grammatical error
Since this book is meant to be read out loud to small children, and since it's a children's book, it should not contain any egregious grammatical errors. Somehow, the translator and the copyeditor missed this one: "The next morning, the girl was found laying silently in the snow." As I'm sure most educators know, except the person who reviewed the book for School Library Journal, the sentence should read "... lying silently in the snow."

This error is unacceptable. Copyeditors should have caught it. To me, it's a sign that this is a poor edition of the classic story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Adults will love it; kids may not
One reviewer here has written that "fairy tales are supposed to be happy."Why?

If you stick the word "Disney" in there, then maybe the sentence is true... but in real life, fairy tales are supposed to be a vivid, even exaggerated introduction to the world of morals, virtues, faith and the fantastical, among other things.If you look at the butcher job Disney did with the original story of the Little Mermaid, you'll see what most people today are expecting when they pick up a fairy tale.

In this book, unlike anything Disney has ever done, the little girl dies, peacefully, on a freezing street corner, after a short and too-brutal life, joining her grandmother in heaven because the grandmother was the only person who ever loved her and treated her with kindness.She is neglected by strangers, abused by her father, and eventually burns up all her matches trying to stay warm.

So.This is a sad fairy tale.As grownups, we can get used to it.But should our kids?

My feelings are mixed about whether or not this is a book that is appropriate for children.I recently did read this edition, with the wonderful, lush illustrations by Rachel Isadora, to my own big and little girls (14 and 5 - quite a spread!) to find out.

Should I have used them as guinea pigs in this literary experiment?Well, I'm not so sure.

Dd2 (5) seemed fine; fascinated, actually.She has been exposed to many fairy tales, but this probably stood out as one of the most vivid things she's ever been read.Perhaps because death is so unexpected in a kids' book.Should it be?

On the other hand, dd1 (15) was utterly shocked, and spent a while screaming that it was a TERRIBLE book.She forbade me to read it to dd2 again and I ended up putting the book away until it had to go back to the library... so we really did read it only that one time.

I don't know if I regret having read it to them.Probably not.

Probably, if it had just been dd2, I would have kept it around and just had whatever conversations naturally flowed.We did have a couple of talks after reading this, about belief in heaven, for example.A couple of times, she just asked me to summarize the story for her, and I did.I think she would have loved to flip through it and gaze at the illustrations for quite a bit longer, but because it upset her big sister, I did put it away.

In the end, I think I would rather read my children something sad but REAL (ie genuine thoughtful literature, a "living book") than all the Disney princesses out there. So I don't regret reading it.

I was surprised at how strong dd1's reaction was, but looking back, because she's older and more attuned to cultural and emotional nuances, perhaps her reaction is not surprising at all.It IS pretty outrageous to write a kids' book about death, but Andersen, a master storyteller, has pulled it off.

Think about your own kids before bringing this book home; in that sense, I think it's not a great gift item, however "seasonal" it may be.Know how they react to things that are upsetting, in stories and in real life.And then decide if they'll be able to absorb the larger messages of this book - charity, heaven - without being overly disturbed.

Of all the wonderful works written by Hans Christian Anderson, this one, The Little Match Girl is probably one of the most well known and is the one that is probably the most controversial.By controversial I mean that is it is one of the few stories where parents truly need to know their child and determine the proper time and place to introduce them to it.Please keep in mind that I am referring to the original story, the one told here, and not the watered down version; the Disney type version that is becoming more and more common and available.

In the original story, and Rachel Isadora through her art, and in producing this book, has pretty well stuck to the story line as presented by Hans Christian Andersen.We have a poor little girl who is forced by a cruel father to go out into the city on New Years Eve and sell matches.It is cold, snowing and the little girl is not only hungry but barefooted and inadequately dressed.Huddled in a corner in an alleyway, rejected by all and fearful to return to the father who will beat her if she sells no matches, she starts lighting matches one by one and with each gleam of light is treated to a vision.A warm stove, a wonderful dinner, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and finally a vision of her loving grandmother who takes the young girl in her arms and they soar in a halo of light and joy, far, far above the earth, where there was no more cold, no hunger, and no pain...for they were with God.

The next morning the little girl is found frozen to death.

Now folks, this is a sad story.I was first exposed to it when I was about five years old when my mother read it to me.To be frank, I cried and it gave me nightmares for years after.In my particular case that was okay though.I learned lessons here; valuable lessons as far as I am concerned. Not something I enjoyed, but certainly something I needed.

This is not necessarily a "feel good story," and to be frank, I would wonder about any child or adult who is not touched by it.The artist has depicted this happening in what is probably Victorian London. It must be understood though that this could be anywhere in the world at any given time.As my mother explained to me, those were hard and unforgiving times when people did not care about such thing...not like today!She let me ponder this story and her comments for a bit and then explained to me that this sort of thing not only went on at that time and during that era, but still goes on to this very day and the second we forget it; forget the plight of those who are starving to death, freezing to death and are abused, then we are no better than the people of the story. She stressed that we must be better people and learn to treat those who have less than we do much better than they treated the Little Match Girl.

This is one of those stories that I would hesitate to read to a group of children I did not know.Each parent needs to decide whether or not their child is able to handle this story and understand the several messages here.The story certainly ends with a good Christian message, i.e. the little girl is taken away to a better place to be with God, but it is somewhat difficult to reconcile the non-Christian actions of the other people in the story that were perfectly willing to let this small girl starve and freeze to death.This is a story that needs adult interpretation from an adult reader when it is presented to the very young.

Yes indeed this work can and should be classified as a classic as it brings out the exact emotions the author intended and is quite well written.The book should not be ignored because of the sadness and I might suggest that it is a wonderful tool to teach compassion.If you think about it thousands upon thousands of children are facing an identical plight even as I write this review!Do think about it! On the other hand, it will most certainly hold a bit of emotional trauma if not handled correctly.

The art work in this particular version of this story is excellent.Rachel Isadora is master at her trade.

If you decide to introduce your child to this story, then this work is ideal and I do highly recommend it.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

3-0 out of 5 stars Too sad for young children
I was read this story as a child by my Grandmother, and I can tell you from first hand experience that this book should be kept for older children or better yet, adults. It is terribly sad and I remember to this day the feeling of dread and sadness that came over me after hearing this story. It is a beautiful story and does teach many great morals, but little children, in my opinion, don't yet have all the tools neccessary to deal with such a heavy story. Let them donate to charity and help the needy, but save this story for later.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great story
Of course, the story is touching, to be expected.Didn't love the illustrations.But, they were fine. ... Read more

16. The Ugly Duckling
by Hans Christian Andersen
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2009-06-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0735822263
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Retold with simple elegance and illustrated in glowing watercolors by one of the worlds great artists, this edition of The Ugly Duckling is sure to be a favorite
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Realistic yet reverent
Let's face it, the traditional ugly duckling story is a little rough, with all of the "grown-up" animals treating that poor duckling so mean.It is understandable why other versions try to lighten it up by altering the story and/or illustrating it with cartoons.

This version maintains the shocking portions of the story.(For example, the ugly duckling is bitten because "he is so ugly he deserves to be bitten.")Although I was concerned about how it would affect my 4yo, I felt that it was vital to understanding why this little duck would run away and risk death in the cold of winter.As it turned out, it served as a good basis for discussing how we should treat people and how treating someone poorly can hurt them while treating them kindly can save a life, both literally and figuratively.I also felt the beautiful, serene illustrations served to balance the ugliness, bringing a quiet reverence to the story. ... Read more

17. Stories from Andersen
by Hans Christian Andersen
 Paperback: 160 Pages (1993)
-- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1854712403
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18. Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen
Paperback: 136 Pages (2010-01-29)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$13.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1407616366
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With this new translation and selection, the unique inventiveness of Andersen's genius is revealed. At a time when children's stories were formal, moral and didactic, Hans Christian Andersen revolutionized the genre, giving an anarchic twist to traditional folklore and creating a huge number of utterly original stories that sprang directly from his imagination. From the exuberant early stories such as "The Emperor's New Clothes", through poignant masterpieces such as "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling", to the darker, more subversive later tales written for adults, the stories included here are endlessly experimental, both humorous and irreverent, sorrowful and strange. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

2-0 out of 5 stars PRODUCT INFO MISLEADING
In the description it says the book includes the "little mermaid" it does not it also says that there is this great into by this famous Andersen analyst. there is not as it actually refers to a different hardcover than the one for sale here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Translation!
It's difficult to convey cultural humor and wit from one language to another, but Nunnally's is the best translation I've read for Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superlative -- /the/ edition to own
This my childhood Andersen's. Even at an early age I recognized the superlative quality of Arthur Szyk's illustrations. They're weird, grotesque, even frightening, visually mirroring the unrelenting morality of Andersen's universe, in which the evil are harshly punished for their wickedness ("The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf", "The Red Shoes").

Unlike the Grimms' Marchen, which seem largely of pagan origin, many of Andersen's stories are cautionary tales with a decidedly Christian slant ("The Garden of Paradise"). Andersen was homosexual, and we are likely seeing his own sense of guilt being worked out in these stories.

Andersen also had a sense of humor. "Great Claus and Little Claus" (which might have been adapted from a folk story; I don't know) is blackly humorous to the point of being downright sick -- and is laugh-out-loud funny. When my mother read to me as a child, it was her and my favorite.

In addition to B&W drawings, most of the stories have a full-color plate. The one for "The Nightingale" is magnificent. You wish you could get a poster-size copy.

Unhesitatingly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fairy tales for grown-ups
Tiina Nunnally's translation of a selection of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales leaves all the adult insinuations intact and doesn't sweeten the endings with sugar-coating. Above all, she captures the poetic sensibility of HCA.

These are probably not stories to be read out to children just before they sleep. The stories ached with the sadness of lost innocence and unrequited--both heterosexual and homosexual--love.

The omnipresent narrator tells his stories from the vantage point of a hawk in the sky and mole-rat burrowing beneath the surface of the earth. Like all good stories, they tell us something about the human condition, and like the best of them, they do so without telling us exactly what it is.

4-0 out of 5 stars A N.....A D U L T ' S......A N D E R S O N ' S.....F A I R Y.....T A L E.....B O O K
It has beeb said that Hans Christian Anderson's tales...though full
of thought and enchantment, can be scary in the extreme."The Snow
Queen", "The Red Shoes"....so many of these stories have strong
stories and stronger morals -- but are often too scary for children
to read.

Of course, not every story is like this.The enchanting "The Ugly
Duckling", and to a slightly lesser extent, "Thumbelina", (at least
ths has a happy ending!), are two of the tamer tales...and perfect
for children.The majority of Anderson's tales, however, can be
scary for children -- and the fascinating, though too-often scary
illustrations in this book, by justly famed illustrator ARTHUR
SZYK, show why!

Mr. Szyk's hyper-realistic drawings, with large eyes, and emphasis
on bulging stomachs, pursed lips, and scared or evil expressions,
add much to the general atmosphere of these tales.They are
true masterpieces of the illustrator's art -- but, for children,
(and even for sensitive adults), may be just a bit to scary for
comfort.They do, however, fit in with Mr. Anderson's tales very
well.One wonders what would have happened, had these two gentle-
men -- whose lives were separated by almost a hundred years, but
who seemed to have the same sensibilities of great empathy for the
under-privileged, a hatred of evil and unfairness, and great
compassion and hope for humankind, in spite of it all -- had been
able to meet and talk.

Well, in this volume, the reader has the next best thing.The
stories of Hans Christian Anderson, with Illustrations by Arthur
Szyk!Perfect together -- but be warned: these are VERY intense
"fairy-tales", combined with perhaps even stronger illustrations.

A connoiseru's Anderson's Fairy Tales, for sure -- but recommended
(strongly) only for adults, (and children), who are not prone to nightmares, due
to sensitive emotions.Read, and look at, with delight -- but also
with care! ... Read more

19. The Ugly Duckling (Caldecott Honor Book)
by Hans Christian Andersen, Jerry Pinkney
Hardcover: 40 Pages (1999-03-24)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068815932X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For over one hundred years The Ugly Duckling has been a childhood favorite, and Jerry Pinkney's spectacular new adaptation brings it triumphantly to new generations of readers.With keen emotion and fresh vision, the acclaimed artist captures the essence of the tale's timeless appeal: The journey of the awkward little bird -- marching bravely through hecklers, hunters, and cruel seasons --- is an unforgettable survival story; this blooming into a graceful swan is a reminder of the patience often necessary to discover true happiness.Splendid watercolors set in the lush countryside bring drama to life.

2X2 Reading List (TLA)

2000 Notable Children's Books (ALA), 2000 Caldecott Honor Book

Amazon.com Review
Three-time Caldecott Honor artist and four-time winner of the Coretta ScottKing Award, Jerry Pinkney doesn't disappoint with this lovely,old-fashioned, richly textured watercolor adaptation of Hans ChristianAndersen's The Ugly Duckling. The mother duck knew from the verybeginning that one of her babies would be different from the rest... thesixth egg was large and oddly shaped.When it finally hatches that summer,she thinks the "monstrous big duckling" must be a turkey chick! Other ducksare appalled by the ugly duckling, and he is chased, pecked, and kickedaside. When he can't stand it anymore, he runs away from the pond, eventually takingrefuge in the warm cottage of an old woman with a cat and a hen. Missing thedelicious feeling of the water too much to stay, however, he heads outagain into the wide, increasingly cold autumn world.
One day, he heard a sound of whirring wings, and up in the air he saw aflock of birds flying high. They were as bright as the snow that had fallenduring the night, and their long necks were stretched southward. Oh, ifonly he could go with them! But what sort of companion could he be to thosebeautiful beings?"
At last, after a hard, cold winter--and plenty of the kind of adventures noone really wants to have--the duckling sees the same flock of birds he'dseen in the sky so many months ago. He decides he will follow them,somewhat dramatically preferring to be killed by them rather than sufferany more "cold and hunger and cruelty." Much to his surprise, they welcomehim! And when he looks for his dull, awkward reflection in the water, hesees a beautiful swan instead. Children who feel ostracized, even for thetiniest of differences, may shed a few sympathetic tears for the uglyduckling. And no doubt, it was Andersen's wish to give them the hope of oneday finding their own peaceful place. (Ages 3 to 9) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lavishly Beautiful Adaptation of the Classic Story
Hans Christian Anderson's story tells of a swan hatched into a family of ducks, who lives his life trying to fit into a situation where he doesn't belong.When this "ugly duckling" finds himself in the company of swans and realizes that he is really one of them, he understands that all the qualities which caused him to be rejected were actually signs of his true character.This story lends a hope-filled perspective on social difficulties, suggesting that may be seeds of greatness even in the most awkward individuals.It brings a gentle moral lesson both to those who are ostracized and those who are tempted to judge others by their appearances.

Jerry Pinkney's adaptation brings the story into a visual splendor, with lushly detailed watercolor paintings full of drama and life.His text is smoothly written, although heavily abridged from the original version.It's a perfect adaptation for children who are not quite ready to transition from picture books to chapter books, because its visual representation of the story establishes the story line so vividly; reading the full text version at a later time will be easy if they can picture Pinkney's scenes in their minds.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not an Ugly Tale
The ugly duckling is a classic telling of an all too familiar theme that we as parents tell our kids all the time: that looks on the outside matter little, and that it's what is on the inside that counts. This classic tale tells the message for us, in a fun and entertaining way that children will enjoy (my daughter did anyway).

If you don't the skinny on this old classic, it's as follows: a newborn baby duck makes his way into the world, but this is no ordinary duck, oh, no; this duck doesn't quite look like his siblings or any other duck for that matter. This duck is teased, bullied and made to feel worthless. But in the end, we find out that this duck is not a duck at all, but in fact is a swan and a beautiful one at that.

I believe that the realization of the swan that he is not ugly and actually is something beautiful is very touching as he seemed so sad before this realization. I don't think the author is trying to say that if you are labeled as ugly, that you will and should be teased; but the symbolism of ugly duck turning into a beautiful swan seems to convey a type of hidden self worth which comes into light when needed the most. I realize this might be over the heads of younger readers, but I hope you parents understand my meaning.

The color illustrations are excellent.

Darien Summers, author of The Mischievous Hare, a children's book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, faithful re-telling
Beautiful book, full of details.The story is a faithful re-telling of Andersen's story, so the story is not dumbed-down like so many re-tellings of this story are, so it's a bit lengthy and scary.Not for the youngest readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous
Hans Christian Anderson original fantastic prose is kept to its sparkling perfection in this book as Jerry Pinkney happily puts in his charming and almost dream-like illustrations. Fantastic edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars such a deep meaning between its light, childish writings...
(This review is about the story and not about the specific content of the book)

Luis Mejia (son) - As a fan of more classic readings, I personaly got to appreciate Hans Christen Andersen as one of my favourite writters, not only because his beautiful, gorgeous tales are brought up for a sleepy kid who likes to hear a story from his dad, as he finally gets asleep with a smile, its because among all of his works, some may be totally written for putting on paper a story full of fantastic moments but without an implicit meaning, but in its underlying words, it can teach a lot about values, just like The Little Mermaid tales a great value and a deep, underlying meaning of true love, making hard decissions toward the theme, the beauty of love an its unreachable boundaries, but, among all of Andersen's writtigs, The Ugly Duckling is one of his two that makes me cry. Its heartful, touchy story about a little duck, who, like every alive creature in the world, even a real duck, just want to be accepted as a normal duck who wants to learn about the experience of life, even when he doesn't knows that, unfortunately, this doesn't go that way, his brothers and other mates would constantly pick on him, bothering him, making the poor duck cry, even his mother felt embarassed about having such an ugly duck, what's the meaning in this part of the story? When you are an adult, or a mature adolescent one gets it quickly, even its meaning about rejecting/bullying others because of any condition (as this is not focused on beauty, is focused on any aspect that it could be found) can be seen in modern society, and, as it later reflects on the ongoing story, it can have very sad effects. The duck, all alone even at his early life, goes onto a journey of searching his place or at least some love, and he fails a couple of times, here the meaning is another very deep one, life is about risks and chances, and nothing is sure, anyone can make mistakes in any moment of his life, even when they are sadder. And when, finally, he discovers a place where he wished he could live, he felt deeply attracted by this place and its animals, and, when these attractive animals come closer, the little ugly duckling was already been hurted, so he was even more scared, as these animals he was seeing where something really special, to the point of even thinking "It doesn't matter now, I would prefer to dye here, beside this beautiful creatures, even if they kill me, or I dye in the cold, instead of all alone outside" (it really says this) this part really touches my heart. But instead of finding strong rejection, he founds comprehension and acceptance, he is even regarded as one of those beautiful animals which he dreamed about!

For children, there's no way to search for a meaning here, as it may stay as a simple, short story, attractive because of talking animals and light emotions, and a very good one for putting to sleep a children, but for adults, this story is much more than that, the story coul've been made up to even 500 pages, although here the parts are clear, main rejection, something general instead of specific, a search for a true home, a couple of places with searched with failure, and his final transformation. So, the values that this story teaches are amazing and pretty recognizables, values like those of patience, love, comprehension, although the story's main point is clear: even in our hardest situations in life, at any age, at any time, we should always be hopeful and faithful, we'll have to start our journey for finding our place, as the duck did, we shall never give up, don't be the duck that dies in the cold or loses every hope, we'll make a lot of mistakes, go through many situations that gets us down in the road, but without giving up, as the duck who finds two places where he didn't fit as well (as well as it could've been a thousand places), and, even if the road seems eternal and unreachable, even if we've been through a lot of sad stories, even if we're all alone within any situation, we'll find our true home, the true love, our deeply desired place, we'll finally discover ourselves, and have a happy ending, living happy forever.

Plus, the gorgeous illustrations and sensitive way of telling the story in the book, makes it a really fantastic, pretty edition. ... Read more

20. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales: The Classic Children's Treasury
by Hans Christian Andersen, William King
Hardcover: 56 Pages (1996-09)
list price: US$9.98 -- used & new: US$18.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1561387657
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A collection of Andersen's most popular tales includes "The Ugly Duckling," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "Silly Hans," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Fir Tree," "It's True!" and "Thumbelina." ... Read more

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