The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Hardcover – May 10 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I ordered this book back in September 2009 from Amazon.ca, and their estimated shipping/delivery date has been pushed back 3 times, from the end of December to end of January to... Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2010 by S. T
I ordered this item 2 months ago and it still hasn't been shipped?? Amazon kept telling me it would come and it still hasn't...Published on Feb. 8 2010 by Tim
Grimms-You call the Best but Hans Anderson, You call it a 'Classic of the classics' coz the beautiful stories lets your imagination go surfing on 'cloud nine' and these tales... Read morePublished on May 6 2004 by Ilaxi S. Patel
While I'm sure the stories are great, I can't get past the poor type setting, and cheap paper which is practically newsprint. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2003 by shubunkin
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... Read morePublished on July 14 2000 by Rebecca of Amazon
I have read and re-read this book so many times the binding has completely fallen apart. I can't imagine a better collection of stories and illustrations, perfect for any age!Published on April 12 2000
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2000
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