Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen: A Classic Illustrated Edition

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About this book

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales are like exquisite jewels, drawing from us gasps of recognition and delight. Andersen created intriguing and unique characters -- a tin soldier with only one leg but a big heart, a beetle nestled deep in a horse's mane but harboring high aspirations. Each one of us at some time, has been touched by one of Andersen's Fairy Tales. Here you'll find his classic tales such as: "The Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, "and "The Ugly Duckling," 38 of your favorite tales in all. This deluxe Children's Classic edition is produced with high-quality, leatherlike binding with gold stamping, full-color covers, colored endpapers with a book nameplate. Some of the other titles in this series include: Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Heidi, King Arthur and His Knights and The Secret Garden.

Reader's Thoughts

Helen

These stories make me cry. Grimm's fairy tales are cautionary fables. These are tiny little slices of tragic reality, dressed up in doll's clothing or hidden behind animal masks. Check out "The Steadfast Tin Soldier,""The Ugly Duckling,"and "The Little Match Girl." Devastating.

Kristin

Few things are more intriguing than reading stories you've grown up with your entire life and then finding them very different in their initial form. I had a blast reading this book. As with any selection of short stories I have my favorites but there were very few I didn't care for. The Red Shoes, The Little Mermaid & Thumbelina are still favorites however I love the The Shadow and The Marsh King's Daughter. Anderson weaves beautiful stories filled with imagery, lessons and intrigue. I was afraid his language would be boring and the stories less than I'd imagined however I was pleasantly surprised. Interesting as well was the information on what occurred in his life while he was writing- never knew he was bi-sexual and the The Little Mermaid was written out of grief at his lover's marriage. I recommend for everyone to read this collection- it is a new genre of the day and has become something else thanks to Disney since it's introduction and the dark nature of these delightful stories is captivating.

Juan Pablo Luppi

¡Oh Hans, cuán ñoño eres! ¡Cuán simplísticamente moralino! ¡Cuán capaz de ahogar el más simple argumento con exclamativas!Leí este libro hasta el final, porque me gusta conocer historias nuevas, y porque alguna de las viejas no las conozco en su formato habitual. Por ejemplo, La sirenita, que languidece como su protagonista hasta un final "redentor" que elimina cualquier fuerza dramática inicial.Si hay un héroe en la comunidad escéptica, es el niño que grita "el rey está desnudo": la representación, dirían, de aquel que no se deja engañar por el discurso social y recurre a la evidencia para formar su opinión.Pues bien, amigos, úsenlo así si quieren, pero sepan que para Hans, el niño dice la verdad PORQUE ES UN NIÑO SIMPLE, PURO Y NATURAL. No hay una pizca de racionalidad en este ni en ningún otro cuento. Y no se trata, por supuesto, de ser cuentos de hadas. Se trata de que HCA es de un romanticismo reconcentrado: la virtud de la inocencia, la pureza del amor, la frialdad de la ciencia y de la razón, y así hasta el hartazgo. Sí se burla a menudo de la pomposidad y la petulancia, pero el entorno de otros cuentos hacen que uno se cuestione fuertemente las razones.Dejo el libro con la amarga sensación de conocer, ahora una de las líneas más ponzoñosas de nuestro inconciente colectivo, y temo pensar en la concepción de infancia que los impulsa. Aguante los hermanos Grimm.

Katie

'The Ice Maiden' is totally amazing.

Jennifer

We have been reading this book at bedtime for a long, long time. I know, I should have looked at the book and realized how long it was, but with the lushly illustrated cover, I was really, really expecting more illustrations. Of which there were almost none, and certainly not like the cover. Before I get carried away, I do want to say that I found this collection of tales to be magical and surprising. I guess I was often distracting by evaluating whether or not I thought the stories were too "old" for Jefferson. I shouldn't have worried. He said he really liked the book, and after we finished reading it, he took it upstairs to read in bed and within a few days said he'd reread most of it. (He skipped some of the stories.) Of course, his favorite stories tended to be the most blood-thirsty ones.I had never read the "real" Little Mermaid before. It's interesting to me how much darkness is in these tales. Not just "the girl dies," which was all I'd been told about how the original varied from the Disney version, but through all the stories. That there is darkness, and we probably won't get what we most want in life, but still we should be honest and humble, and strive for justice and beauty.If Jefferson absorbed even a little of that message, I should be pretty happy.

Joelle

this is my current "read in bed" book. So far my favorite story has been THE SNOW QUEEN, it made me stay up so late! Also- I really love Hans' paper cut-out illustrations.

Grace

I was somewhat amazed by the large number of fairy tales that Hans Christian Andersen wrote. Apparently he wrote more than 200 in all, of which over sixty are included in this volume. In this book these tales are grouped into different sections according to the type of tales that they are. For example there are some which are grouped under the title 'Original Fairy Tales' which include The Little Mermaid and Thumbelina which are two of my favorites. Others are grouped under the title 'Evangelical and Religious Tales' which include The Red Shoes and The Little Match Girl. These often have a moral to them. Some of my other favorites include The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, and The Nightingale. There are also many more of which I had never heard, and it was a joy to read many of them.

Janice

Holy crap... this is the book that won't end.It's a very faithful translation of the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and I'm sure much of the humor of these tales are lost in the translation. There are some famous ones that you know included here. Thumbelina, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Matchgirl, The Red Shoes, The Ugly Duckling and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. But these are all very short, and the book is WELL over 500 pages long. It is tedious, I'm not going to lie. And some of the tales are quite gruesome. But it's also interesting to learn how Disney-fied our understanding is of a lot of these stories. Granted I'm not sure that any of these have been made into Disney films, except for The Little Mermaid. The author also claims that The Emperor's New Groove is a takeoff of The Emperor's New Clothes, but I see no correlation other than the title - I'm going to tackle the Grimm's Fairy Tales next so we'll see how that goes.

Jenna

Oh, Hans Christian Andersen. My favorite of favorites. I love this man. Since I was a little girl, I must have read "The Little Mermaid" a few dozen times. I was also familiar with (and loved) his "The Princess and the Pea," "The Little Match Girl," "Thumbelina," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Red Shoes." Later it was "The Snow Queen" and "The Nightingale" and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." Somewhere along the way I realized that Andersen was responsible for all of my favorite childhood stories. I'd been looking for a good translation or a definitive collection of his work for a few years. There's a lot out there. I was attracted to the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition because of the wacky cover (inspired by the tale "The Traveling Companion"), and the translator's note cinched the deal. Tiina Nunnally was devoted to preserving Andersen's original language and interpreting his writing style. Her respect of his work really shows, and I slowly devoured each story. It took me a full year to get through this book, a total of 30 stories, and it has come everywhere with me like a security blanket. It's almost sad that I'm done with it.This collection doesn't claim to be complete edition of all of his stories (which was what I originally thought I wanted), but is instead a sampling of some of his most important works. They are arranged in chronological order, and thanks to an extended timeline of Andersen's life and biography in the introduction, it's really easy to see this bizarre man's journey through life. Reading this tales, most of which were autobiographical in some way or another, I felt really connected to him. In the back of the book, there are notes on each tale explaining why he wrote them and the publication history. I never knew that Hans felt he WAS the little mermaid, sacrificing himself for true love only to be handed disappointment. It's all the more heart-breaking to know that he drew from real life inspiration to compose it.

Risa

Very different from the sanitized versions most of us grew up with.

Aubrey

I recently chose this book for my book cub. I love HCA fairy tales. They are so compelling and read as though you are sitting at the man's feet and he is telling them straight to you and guestering with his overly large hands. What was so great about reading them this time is this particular edition that is translated by Tiina Nunnally. It is incredible with it's bio of him in the front- a MUST read and the notes about each story in the back to conect it to a time and place in the authors life. Also, the translation is fantastic. At the begining of each story is a picture of one of HCA's many intricte paper cut outs that he often created, which inspired me to get creative as well. I like that you can read one story or all of them. Some stories are one page long and others are 30, so you can take or leave it based on your time limit. If you haven't read The Little Mermaid and only seen the Disney Movie then you are really missing out. One of the most heartbreaking love stories you will ever read. My personal favorite is Great Clause and Little Clause. I laughed out loud when I read in the back notes that "Andersen sanitizes the sexual innuendo of the traditional version by giving the farmer an irrational dislike of deacons, though the cuckold theme is clear to adult readers." As a kid I totally bought that the farmer just had an irrational dislike of deacons, and rereading them as an adult has just been a pleasure. He is the original to what Pixar is doing now with thier storytelling that will entertain kids, allow them to learn lessons, and have a lot of deep thinking and jokes specifically put in just for adults. Just a note to parents - Some of these stories can be somewhat graphic and if you have a very sensative child you might want to preview them first, these are not your sanatized Disney version, but that is what is great about them. Enjoy!! I have also included some quotes I like about fairy tales.When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955) When Albert Einstein was asked how to develop intelligence in young people, he answered: "Read fairy tales. Then read more fairy tales." "Storytellers make us remember what mankind would have been like,had not fear and the failing will and the laws of nature tripped up its heels."-- W.B. Yeats "In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected."-- Charles Dickens

Laura

This collection contains forty of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. It begins with “The Princess and the Pea” and “Thumbelina” and concludes with “The Book of Fairy Tales.” Well-known favorites such as “The Snow Queen,” “The Wild Swans,” “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “The Little Mermaid” are intermingled with less well-known stories such as “The Shadow” and “The Fir-Tree.” Neil Philip’s introduction gives the reader a sense of who Hans Christian Anderson was as a person, and Isabelle Brent’s mosaic-like borders and use of rich colors and gold leaf give the entire book the feel of a medieval illuminated manuscript. The illustrations give the reader the sense of looking through a window into the story, and they perfectly echo the tone of each story, sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, and often tinged with just a bit of sadness. Hans Christian Anderson’s stories were originally published between 1835 and 1837.

Allen

I read Hans Christian Andersen on my iPad, Macsimus Tango. That means that the book listed here isn't the exact book that I read since I read Gutenberg's version, which is a collection of only a few dozen of the fairy tales. I put this book on my virtual bookshelf because this is the book that I put on my actual bookshelf since I ordered a version of the complete fairy tales from Amazon. My opinion is that if you read an important author then you should own all of the important works and you should give them their physical dignity upon your book shelf. As a technophile, I think virtual bookshelves are a troubling future. ANYWAYS...I will review Hans Christian Andersen based on the stories that I read. I give this book four stars because I think that the imagination of Hans Christian Andersen is profound and that the book is certainly a must read for any thinking person. The book shines light on 19th century Danish life that could not be otherwise entirely understood. In addition, the stories paint memorable pictures of what I and everybody else envisions when one conjures the term 'Fairy Tale'.The Emperor's New Clothes: This tale is wonderful. The moral is memorable. The style is characteristic of the fairy tale genre. I think the story works especially well concerning Andersen's perception of public image when considered with 'The Leap Frog,' 'The Swineherd,' 'The Real Princess,' or just about any other Anderson tale. There is an undeniable dichotomy in Andersen between what one should be and what one wants to be. Of all the tales with this message, I believe this is the best.The Fir Tree: If you want a depressing Christmas story, this is your wish. This story tells the sad tale of a tree's mistaken desires for his life and his ultimate coming to terms with his wrongly-made life's choices. My favorite part about this story wasn't the Fir Tree at all; it was the culturally informative background of the story. The Danish children decorating the tree, celebrating Christmas and enjoying the new Spring. This is a life I certainly didn't have and its peaceful quaintness charmed me although I could go without the band of household rats and mice.The Snow Queen: I heard lots about this story before I actually read it. And all that I heard was generally positive. My opinion was to the contrary. I felt that the story lacked direction and that it tended to wander unnecessarily. I thought the idea of a broken mirror was neat and that the relationship between the two children was memorable but the pages and pages of conversations with vegetation was mind numbing. This story was probably my least favorite of the bunch.The Little Match Girl: I had also heard about this story. I liked the imagery and I feel that the story could be well adapted into some form of visual art. The setting is so static yet the story is so diverse as we watch a freezing poor child attempt to stay warm in the light of a match's flame. Her thoughts are so vivid that they do seem to warm the reader. Now for the stranger stories.The Shadow: This story reminded me of Kafka. I would certainly like to know if good ole Franz ever read this story. The change of being and perspective in this story was quick, convincing and intelligent. I think there is a thesis in this story that investigates the pre-Marx master-servant relationship. I'd like to read this story again after I've been in the workforce for several years.The Bell: I think I see where Andersen was going here, but I think he failed. It was a boring story with too ambitious a message. What I read what unbelievable and rambling.The Story of a Mother: This story is historical proof that beer and ale were not originally mean to be frosty and cold. In this story, a man is nourished against the cold of winter by some ale put on the stove especially for him to warm. Naturally, the man enjoys it just like a modern beer commercial. I want to speak briefly of my favorite story - The Shoes of Fortune. This story is the earliest literary example of believable science fiction that I have read except for maybe the unbreakable glass of Petronius' Satyricon. I marveled at how Andersen showed how the Danish landscape of Copenhagen had changed so unmistakably over the centuries. This story is for any history lover and for anybody who enjoys watching a member of a culture attempt to define and understand his own culture. This story took a cultured gentleman of the 19th century into a barbarian past and takes a less cultured workman of the same century into the dystopia of the, for lack of a better word, Bourgeois. If you read Andersen, read this story because it is an edifying experience that should not be missed.In all, the book does not deserve five stars because some stories are just too boring and poorly articulated. Nevertheless, Hans is a must read.

Alexandre

I cannot give this book a rating. It's not in terms of quality, but in terms of the number of stories. Some stories are bland, boring, just thoughts of this author that, while being good tales on their own, do not have that magic that I believe that fairy tales are supposed to have. If this book consisted only of such stories, I'd give it a 2, as it would be just an "ok" book, as the rating suggests.However, when it comes to stories such as "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Mermaid" this book deserves all the stars Goodreads would allow me to rate it. These stories are the true fairy tales that gave Andersen the status he so rightly deserves. These are ones with true morals, that reach out to your heart and that have the magic and dreams that Disney recaptured so well in the film adaptations. These are the ones that are a must-read and that you certainly cannot miss.However, it is still a must-read book.

Nikki

I read this when I was tiny and just found it today and had a flick through. I remember these as being well told, simple, absorbing. I remember absolutely loving "The Snow Queen". I think I actually had a separate book with that in, as well, with absolutely beautiful illustrations.[April 09:]Just reread this book. It's surprising how rich these fairy tales are considering that they're given to children. Some of them are ridiculous and pointless, really, except that they're charming little stories. Some of them have morals, which can be irritating to us. I remember loving some of these stories so much, as I said when I first reviewed this: my favourites now are "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Mermaid", while I remember loving "The Ugly Duckling"... Some of these are actually so much in a kid's consciousness that I didn't remember they were by Andersen.Lovely little collection, I reread them via the Penguin £2 edition, which is definitely worth the money.

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