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The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales [Hardcover]

Hans Christian Andersen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 10 1993
Lilly Owens, ed. Illustrated edition of 159 cherished tales that have enchanted readers for generations. Includes The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, Snow Queen, all uncut with beautiful illustrations by Arthur Rackham, Hans Richter, et al. 60 B&W illustrations. 816 pages.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for adults and children March 13 2004
Format:Hardcover
I have always been a fan of the original versions of fairy tales, so I picked this book up a few years ago, just to read for myself. A few weeks ago my six year old found it hidden among my millions of other books, and asked me to read it to her. While easy to read silently, it is a bit hard to get into the rythm of the wording at first, but after stumbling through a few paragraphs, it becomes much easier to handle.
Since the discovery of this book, my children have been requesting stories from it almost every night. At first my three year old complained about the lack of pictures (it really isn't "fully illustrated"), but she quickly got over that and enjoys listening to every story. Both of my older children like to compare these stories to ones they've seen on TV, or read in the few modernized fairy tale books we own (given to us by friends and relatives). Maybe my children are warped - which is very likely - but they prefer the original stories, with their not-so-happy, and often times violent, endings.
I've never been one to believe children need to have their reality padded... real life doesn't always end the way we hoped, so neither should stories. Hopefully this book, and ones like it, will be a bedtime favorite for years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardly Complete! Jan. 16 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent selection of Andersen's best tales, but it is hardly complete! A fresh new translation organised by themes that is fun to read! It is the Kindle version of the Barnes and Noble Classics paperback, with black and white illustrations by Henry Clarke. However, for the Kindle edition, they have borrowed the cover from another edition that IS "complete" and "fully illustrated". So this is a perfect sampler, ideal for beginners, that fully deserves its 4 star rating!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't even bother. Nov. 6 2003
Format:Hardcover
While I'm sure the stories are great, I can't get past the poor type setting, and cheap paper which is practically newsprint. The words and illustrations bleed through from the next page making reading very difficult. And to make matters worse, the stories are set in a terrible, hard to read font and tight leading. This book is NOT kid-friendly at all.
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Format:Hardcover
If you remember Thumbelina, The Nightingale, The Ugly Duckling or The Princess and the Pea, they are all here in a wonderful collection of stories written by Hans Christian Anderson. Unlike the Brothers Grimm, who collected and recorded popular tales, Hans Christian Anderson wrote his own "folk" tales, which also contain Danish history and foreign literature.
Not all of his stories end well, yet this is a side of life children should learn about so they can be aware of it later in life. Your child might be horrified to learn that not everything ends up quite as magical as it would in a Disney movie. My favorite tale has always been "The Little Mermaid." She wanted to be something she was not meant to be and for me that is a lesson of how we should be who we really are. She actually ends up not marrying the prince. I quote:
The little mermaid lifted up glorified eyes towards the sun, and felt them, for the first time, filling with tears. On the ship, in which she had left the prince......she saw him and his beautiful bride searching for her; sorrowfully they gazed at the pearly foam, as if they knew she had thrown herself into the waves.
Some of the stories are very moralistic, yet he retains a mischievous sense of humor in some stories. His stories always reflect his fertile imagination. This particular collection was translated by Mrs. H. B. Paull, H. Oskar Sommer, Jean Hersholt and several other unknown translators. Six distinguished artists helped to illustrate this book. These are black and white illustrations and there are not really very many of them. To me a fully illustrated book should be fully illustrated. Nonetheless, this is not a book just for children. In fact, I see this more as a book which should be read to children by their parents.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Expected Better Quality Jan. 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Andersen and Grimm are supposed to be classics. While I like having the collection and while the illustrations are very nice - the pages themselves are much closer to newspaper-stock than what I'd expect from a durable, long-lasting book. Very thin, gritty, and easily tearable. It was kind of disappointing. This also applies to the Grimm book from the same editor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a kids book Dec 30 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a beautiful book with beautiful stories but I would move it up to the 20+ reading group. I am still baffled about their definition of "fully illustrated". Sixty sketched, black and white, illustrations in 803 pages does not constitute "fully".
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