Hans Christian Andersen

ISBN: 088188202X
ISBN 13: 9780881882025
By: Hans Christian Andersen Frank Loesser

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About this book

A vocal selection is a collection of all of the major songs from a Broadway show. Each song is arranged for piano and voice. Many vocal selections also feature photos from the original stage production of the show.

Reader's Thoughts


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.


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.


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


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.

Allison Rockwell

My favorite stories as a child, I read and reread "The Little Match Girl," "The Shadow," "The Traveling Companion," and many others over and over again.


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.


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


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.


Fairytales are the only place I find validation.

Brennan Wieland

I only read the snowman out of all of these stories as an assignment. This story tells of a newly built snowman trying to make sense of the world around him. The dog, living next to him in his kennel, tells him shortly of few things including the stove inside of the house. The snowman develops an unusual attraction to the stove, and longs to be next to the stove. The story ends with the winter passing and the people soon forgetting about the snowman. I wasn't left very satisfied at the end of this, since there wasn't much of an ending.


The first word that came to mind after reading a few of these tales was: "delightful". And they are - but they are also creepy, funny, sad, tormented, tragic, and very beautiful. I was also struck by the fact that the concept of "god" and "angels" and all the familiar religious mythology peacefully co-exist in these tales with trolls, fairies and other fantasy creatures. I found this fact to be striking, and somehow it made me appreciate that perhaps religion, at it's best, is simply an attempt by people to direct their gratitude for all that is great in the world.This is the edition to read. I am convinced that Tiina Nunnally has done the truest translation of Andersen's work to date, and Andersen's paper cuts that are used to introduce each story are a great touch. The introduction to this collection was utterly fascinating, and essential reading before getting into the tales. At the end of the volume there are notes on each of the tales -- these notes are very enlightening, and provide crucial explanations of their context and intent.

AfraA523 AlMajed

This book is intresting. although its a fairy tale book and you would say these story are pretty obvious and i know most of them since i was a kid, but no they are very different from the stories we have read when younger it has much of grown ups content. Really intresting and you wont get bored of. Its just amazing how you recall a story from childhood and expect a certain ending but you see something that is totally different from what you know.


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.


Really a fantastic collection of stories overall. I love a good fairytale, even it it doesn't end happily ever after, which many of these do not. A few of them were less interesting to me, hence the 4 stars, but overall I really enjoyed picking up this book now and then and reading a tale or two at a time in the evening to end the day. Anderson writes beautifully and weaves some really lovely tales together in this collection.

Koen Crolla

It's a good idea to go back and reread fairy tales as an adult, because they tend to have dimensions that go over a child's head, or different endings that were bowdlerised for the children's edition. Many of them are just good stories, and fantastic in a way that modern literature rarely is. This collection probably isn't the best choice to go back to, though.If you're looking for fairy tales in general, Andersen is probably a worse choice than Grimm or Perrault to begin with, because so many of his stories are pointless and dull, and while this collection includes pretty much all of his most famous ones (Emperor's New Clothes, Ugly Duckling, Little Mermaid, Snow Queen, &c.), it also includes a lot of dross. The editors pride themselves on the translation maintaining a story-teller flavour rather than favouring readability, which is a pretty mixed bag.Still, the stories themselves are all short and easy to get through.

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