Hans Christian Andersen is probably the most famous fairy tale author in the world, and his stories are popular among both children and adults. Read on to find out what we think about Little Gestalten’s collection; The Illustrated Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen.
This post may contain affiliate links through which I may receive a small commission.
Little Gestalten kindly sent us a copy of the book, and the children and I have been busy reading our way through the 176 pages with full-colour illustrations. There are some familiar stories included, as well as some that were new to me, which makes a lovely and interesting mix.
Stories Included in Andersen
- The Ugly Duckling
- The Red Shoes
- The Little Mermaid
- The Emperor’s New Suit
- The Tinder Box
- The Little Match-Seller
- The Brave Tin Soldier
- The Snow Queen
- The Princess and the Pea
- The Loveliest Rose in the World
- The Nightingale
One thing that I enjoy about Andersen’s stories are that they tell a lot about humankind and give warnings and morals for children. As we all know, children don’t like being told directly how to behave, but when given in memorable story form, they (sometimes with a little help to join the dots) can understand the deeper meaning and apply the lessons to their own life.
Earlier this year the children met up with a local resident who is from Denmark and knowing that these stories were written by another Dane was interesting to them. I was also able to let them know that Copenhagen isn’t the only place with a Little Mermaid statue…my Japanese ‘hometown’ of Toyama also has a replica statue! And in Kurashiki, Japan, where I worked briefly as well, there is a Hans Christian Andersen square just outside the train station, where I would sit each morning before work, have my breakfast, and watch the fairy tale characters pop out of the clock as it chimed on the hour, signalling me it was time to stroll off to work.
Kallista took ownership of Andersen when it arrived and often takes it to bed with her for some pre-slumber reading. And I was able to sneak it away a few times so that I could read through it myself, too! Also, all three of us read stories together, taking turns narrating. It was a nice way to spend some time together after the lunchtime chores had been completed and before we began our afternoon’s work.
Andersen is recommended for children aged six to adult, and although younger children could certainly enjoy the stories, they may not comprehend the full meaning of them, or perhaps be upset at some of the storylines. Hans Christian Andersen, of course, is the author of all of the stories, though I’m sure they have undergone some slight changes over time, as all great tales do. Each story in the book is illustrated by a different person, which is interesting. In fact, they come from 8 different countries around the world! Although each illustrator will obviously have their own style, the stories look cohesive and unless you read the credits at the end of the book, you may not even realise the number of illustrators.
All-time greats that I know from my childhood like “The Princess and The Pea,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Emperor’s New Suit” are all included, which makes me happy! Of course, I have known about “The Little Mermaid,” but I don’t recall actually reading it until now! And I don’t ever recall having been introduced to “The Red Shoes,” “The Loveliest Rose in the World,” or “The Nightingale”. This wide variety means that there’s something for everyone between the covers.
Kallista’s favourite story was “The Princess and The Pea,” perhaps because she often pretends she is a princess. Of the stories that are new to me, I enjoyed “The Tinder Box,” although parts of it were dark, as some fairy tales can be, of course. Tristan thought the “Emperor’s New Suit” was worthy of a giggle!
The one thing that I didn’t enjoy so much in this book was that some of the grammar did leave something to be desired in places. It may be that this was part of the style of the book and that because the children are currently learning a great deal about grammar and it’s on my mind. If this isn’t a concern for you, just remember that these stories were written in a land far away, in a time long ago, and then read on and enjoy!
If you like Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, then this book will make a lovely addition to your bookshelf. The cloth-feel cover of the hard-bound book gives it a nice feel and weight, too! Happy reading!
Andersen: The Illustrated Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen can be purchased through Amazon
Here are some additional Little Gestalten Books we’ve reviewed that you may be interested in: