Thumbelina

H. C. 1805-1875 Andersen

Book - 2003

A tiny girl no bigger than a thumb is stolen by a great ugly toad and subsequently has many adventures and makes many animal friends, before finding the perfect mate in a warm and beautiful southern land.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Greenwillow Books 2003.
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
ISBN
0688174760
Main Author
H. C. 1805-1875 Andersen (-)
Other Authors
J. Brian Pinkney (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

PreS-Gr. 2. This retelling of the classic tale doesn't add new twists to Andersen's text; it just pares the story down to match the picture-book format. One does miss the narrative flair of the original (in which Thumbelina had a "rose-leaf for a counterpane"). The illustrations are a different matter. Pinkney's thumb-size, dark-skinned heroine is delicately lovely, and the question of her fate as she ricochets from one unsuitable romantic match to another (a toad, a bug, and an insufferable mole) is compelling. But the strong design sense and vibrant color contrasts of Pinkney's most striking works are missing here; the compositions seem less controlled, painted in loose lines and washes with sparing use of the artist's signature scratchboard cross-hatchings. Admirers of Pinkney's previous books will likely not find this adaptation up to the standard of his folktale collaborations with Robert San Souci. Even so, this version will be in demand not only for its window to a jewel-box world where a miniature maiden can hitch a ride aboard a swallow but also as a reminder of an artist's challenge to experiment with style and change. ((Reviewed October 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Two-time Caldecott Honor artist Pinkney (The Faithful Friend; Duke Ellington) presents a visually snappy adaptation of this Hans Christian Andersen tale. Rendered in colored inks on clay board, the wispy art accentuates the natural setting among pond reeds and flower stalks, and features a sunny palette punctuated by electric hues. This Thumbelina, a black child who springs from a gold and flame-red blossom, spends her days floating on a tulip petal, "rowing on a little lake that was really a bowl of water decorated with flowers." In a rather choppy narrative, the author chronicles the tiny heroine's adventures after she is kidnapped by a toad (who sports a gaily patterned kerchief and has spectacles perched on her nose). Pinkney whimsically depicts the animal friends who in turn help Thumbelina escape from her captors, offer her shelter and whisk her away from the mole fiancé she does not love into the arms of the dashing, equally diminutive king of the flower people. Despite some stilted prose (e.g., "Thumbelina was glad to agree"), the imaginative illustrations gives this chestnut a fresh look. Ages 4-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-This greatly abridged retelling joins many versions in recent years, both single volumes and in collections of Andersen's work. It is told in simplified language and vocabulary, minimizing many of the darker elements of the tale. Unfortunately, it begins rather abruptly and some of the emotional content is lessened. Pinkney uses colored inks on clay board to illustrate the story with vibrant colors, large shapes, and sketch-type outlines. The artwork, while certainly bold and engaging, does not meld well with the delicate and fragile nature of the original story. Still, since it is so visually different from other retellings, comparison among them would be an interesting student activity. The book's format is large and would work well for group sharing.-Cris Riedel, Ellis B. Hyde Elementary School, Dansville, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A tiny girl no bigger than a thumb is stolen by a great ugly toad and subsequently has many adventures and makes many animal friends, before finding the perfect mate in a warm and beautiful southern land.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Offers a retelling of this Hans Christian Anderson classic about tiny Thumbelina and her grand adventure to find a home of her own, venturing into the world and meeting interesting creatures that help her along the way. 45,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Thumbelinais no biggerthan your thumb!Thumbelina is content to spend her days rowing in a boat made from a tulip petal and sleeping in a cradle made from a polished walnut shell. Then one horrible night a toad kidnaps her, and she is tossed from one wretched adventure to another.Will Thumbelina be forced to marry the toad's son or spend her days deep underground with a rich mole? Only her steadfast kindness and bravery and the help of some loyal friends will lead Thumbelina to true love. Two-time Caldecott Honor artist Brian Pinkney's adaptation of the classic tale vividly captures the dramatic journey and quiet strength of Hans Christian Andersen's tiny heroine.