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An enchanting book about a man who wove magic into his words
(Updated: July 29, 2020)
Overall rating
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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Like most other people, I grew up devouring Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. His fairy tales are the first stories I remember reading. And it didn’t matter that I encountered them again and again – in various formats, from stunningly illustrated picture books and monstrous text-heavy hardbound anthologies to film and TV adaptations. There were always new details to discover – like the exact shade of Ariel’s hair or the names of her sisters! And I would continue to be mesmerized.
This biography is as charming and whimsical as Andersen’s tales. It was, admittedly, difficult to tear my eyes off the unbelievably gorgeous illustrations, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to find how beautifully the art and text complemented each other.
I did wonder at one point though if the book presented a too-bright picture of his life, which was known to be pretty grim. But considering the target audience for the book, I think it was the right call. There’s something so hopeful and inspiring about the tone and the marvellous way this fictionalized biography comes together, that I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Also, the ending is spectacular (and I usually hate most endings... except for the fairy tale ones, of course!).
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