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THUMBELINA by Hans Christian Andersen


by Hans Christian Andersen & adapted by Brian Alderson & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2079-0
Publisher: Candlewick

Pint-sized Thumbelina faces danger and despair as she searches for true love. She grows from a bud, “no bigger than your thumb,” after her mother pleads with the witch for a child. When she is kidnapped to be married to the ugly Toadikins, Thumbelina’s weeping brings a multitude of characters to her aid. She then nurses a swallow to health, and he helps her avoid marriage to the dismal mole, the Man in Grey. Thin lines and dynamic colors portray the wispy and fair Thumbelina. Ibatoulline deftly balances darkness and light to convey Thumbelina’s quest for happiness, her expressive eyes giving her emotional depth. Emphasizing perspective, rich acryl gouache–and-watercolor spreads illustrate both vast outdoor scenes and intimate abodes. Alderson’s conversational tone brings warmth to the tale, and lively dialogue develops the characters. “Now don’t be obstropolous,” says Mrs. Mouse. “Otherwise I shall bite you with my little white teeth.” A cozily satisfying rendition of the classic. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)