Sylvia Long's Thumbelina

H. C. 1805-1875 Andersen

Book - 2010

A girl no bigger than a thumb is stolen by a 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
Genres
Picture books
Folk tales
Adaptations
Published
San Francisco : Chronicle Books c2010.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations. ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780811855228
0811855228
Main Author
H. C. 1805-1875 Andersen (-)
Other Authors
Sylvia Long (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Long's faithful retelling of Ander-sen's tale, the tiny Thumbelina is courted by a succession of appalling suitors—a toad, a beetle, and a pompous mole—but escapes a life of misery with the help of a swallow whose life she saved. Working in meticulously drafted ink and watercolor, Long (Because You Are My Baby) lingers over Thumbelina's flower-petal and dried-leaf wardrobe, paints careful closeups of the swallow she cares for, and gives the spiders who help Thumbelina spin the flax for her wedding trousseau little knit sweaters. (Thumbelina herself is blonde and freckled; her California freshness is perhaps the book's only off note.) The prospect of a suffocating life underground—"Don't be stubborn or I shall bite you with my sharp teeth!" scolds the field mouse who acts as Thumbelina's guardian, irritated at her rejection of a secure marriage—is redeemed by Ander-sen's uncharacteristically happy ending, and Long celebrates it with a spectacular foldout of the wedding. Elsewhere, vertical spreads emphasize Thumbelina's tininess relative to gigantic, nodding poppies and gargantuan cattails. A jewel box of a work whose pages invite lingering. Ages 4–8. (Apr.) [Page 58]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–4—While following the familiar story line of Hans Christian Andersen's original, Long effectively condenses the narrative and gives a contemporary touch to the wording. But what holds the eye is the artist's impressive use of the spreads (sometimes held in vertical mode). Thumbelina's adventures with the beautifully drawn toad, beetles, mouse, mole, and swallow unfold in jewel-like colors, defined textures, and well-imagined details to complete the surroundings. Unfortunately, the tiny girl displays awkward facial expressions and distorted body stances, marring the presentation. Nevertheless, children—girls in particular—will undoubtedly delight in the happy ending where a gatefold reveals the flower-filled wedding of Thumbelina and her prince. Recommended for libraries needing a new copy of the story.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA [Page 78]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From a best-selling artist comes an exquisite version of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved tale about a thumb-sized girl and her larger-than-life adventures.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

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 3

From best-selling artist Sylvia Long comes an exquisite version of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved tale about a thumb-size girl and her larger-than-life adventures. Jewel-toned paintings depict the story's settings from light and airy meadows to Mole's dark and dismal underground homewhile whimsical details bring the classic cast of characters to life and make this storytime favorite a visual feast.