HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN FAIRY TALES

An Andersen medalist whose distinguished work includes picture-book editions of individual Andersen tales (Thumbeline, 1985) selects eight stories for a collection intended to ``echo that grand tradition where the literature itself takes center stage, and the master illustrator presents only a picture or two to light up the reader's imagination.'' By and large, this elegantly tall (13´'') volume achieves that aim. The ample size provides a generous white space to accommodate Zwerger's beautifully composed art; exquisitely poised figures perfectly capture Andersen's gentle humor and whimsically satirical tone, while the artist's choices of subjects allow telling glimpses into each story's heart. The selection of tales is also creative: four unusual entries—brief vignettes concerning ``The Naughty Boy'' (Cupid), ``The Rose Tree Regiment'' (``leaf lice,'' or aphids, recount their curious life cycle), and ``The Jumpers'' (also insects, who vie for a princess's hand), plus ``The Sandman,'' a childlike dream for each day of the week, concluded by Sunday's quietly philosophical view of death—make an enriching counterpoint to four familiar tales including ``The Little Match Girl.'' Bell's new translations are grand—the language is beautifully honed, vigorous but unobtrusive, with Andersen's wry humor intact. Unfortunately, the pictureless spreads are awkwardly designed, with very long lines of type and an excess of boring white space. Otherwise, a handsome, intelligently planned volume with lovely illustrations. (Fiction. 6+)

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1992

ISBN: 0-88708-182-7

Page Count: 68

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1992

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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