Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales
Andersen Hans Christian
Paperback $14.99 - Penguin UK
Kids - Published: 29/Mar/2010 - ISBN: 9780141329017
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.
With a wonderful cover illustration and new introduction by award-winning picture-book creator Jan Pienkowski.
Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker and a washerwoman. As a young teenager, he became quite well known in Odense as a reciter of drama, and as a singer. When he was fourteen, he set off for the capital, Copenhagen, determined to become a national success on the stage. He failed miserably, but made some influential friends in the capital, who got him into school to remedy his lack of proper education. He hated school: aged seventeen, he was in a class of twelve-year-olds and was constantly mocked by them and by the teachers.
In 1829 his first book - an account of a walking trip - was published. After that, books came out at regular intervals. At first, he considered his adult books more important than his fantasies. In later life, however, he began to see that these apparently trivial stories could vividly portray constant features of human life and character, in a charming manner. There were two consequences of this. First, he stopped regarding his stories as trifles written solely for children; second, he began to write more original stories, rather than retelling traditional tales.
He once said that ideas for stories 'lie in my mind like seeds and only need the kiss of a sunbeam or a drop of malice to flower'. He would often thinly disguise people he liked or disliked as character
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- Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales Paperback $14.99