Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale Collection

NorthSouth Books. Sept. 2019. 176p. Tr $25.00. ISBN 9780735843806.
Gr 3 Up– Five familiar tales, faithful to Andersen’s telling and illustrated by Czech artist Palecek, gather together previously published picture books. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (1974) is followed by “The Nightingale” (1990), “The Little Mermaid” (1981), “Thumbelina” (1975), and “The Ugly Duckling” (1971). Andersen was not given to brevity in his narratives. The first three stories are especially lush in description and explanation, breaking up the elements of plot. Compared to contemporary writing practice, this is prose for patient readers. The full-page and half-page paintings, soft and sometimes dark in tone, break up the long text. Many are rich in detail, while others are playful and almost childlike. The book is handsome, large, and heavy in the hand. An editorial glitch in the first tale leaves one long sentence disjointed with a missing line of text.
VERDICT A useful addition for collections now short of the original Andersen tales.

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