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The Snow Queen [Hardcover]

Hans Christian Andersen , Christian Birmingham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 2007
When Kay is snatched from his home by the beautiful, cruel Snow Queen, his friend Gerda sets out on an epic journey to rescue him. As she searches, she encounters a series of strangers to whom she tells her tale. Charmed by her story and her innocence, each of them helps Gerda, so that, at last, she is able to find the Snow Queen's icy palace. But, at the end of her epic journey, will she manage to set Kay free?

Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; Reprint edition (5 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406306347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406306347
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 25.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Hans Christian Andersen's longest and best story... There is so much in this profound and beautiful tale that it can be endlessly re-read." The Times Educational Supplement"

About the Author

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author and poet, most famous for his timeless, classic fairy tales. Naomi Lewis is one of the most distinguished figures in the world of children's books and a leading authority on the works of Hans Christian Andersen, many of whose stories she has translated. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she is a former winner of the Eleanor Farjeon Award for services to children's literature. Christian Birmingham is an acclaimed illustrator whose titles for children include A Kitten Called Moonlight (9781406300987) by Martin Waddell and several titles by Michael Morpurgo, including The Wreck of the Zanzibar, named Whitbread Children's Book of the Year in 1995.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This new book of the time-old classic fairytale is written in beautiful flowing prose, fitting into that crossover niche between young child's picture book and paperback chapter book. This is a beautifully produced book in larger then A4 format, with multiple paragraphs of text and illustrations on every page. There are lots of full page and double page imagery (pastels I think?) and they are timeless and evocative sweeping you into stunningly atmospheric winter in the main though there is also a more gloriously rich summer interlude. The jacket of the hardback is a lovely touch - clear acetate with snowflake through which the Snow Queen gazes from the hard cover.
Inside the crisp white and soft misty colours provide an enchanting accompaniment to this age-old tale written in the mid-19th century. This version seems true to the original with seven sections unlike the much abbreviated forms you usually find in picture book format these days. These are
Part 1 Which tells of the Looking-Glass and its Splinters,
Part 2 A Little Boy and a Little Girl,
Part 3 The Enchanted Flower Garden of the Old Woman Who Understood Magic,
Part 4 Prince and Princess,
Part 5 The Little Robber Girl,
Part 6 The Lapland Woman and the Finmark Woman,
Part 7 What Happened at the Snow Queen's Palace and What Took Place After That.
In a nutshell a child called Kaye's heart is pierced by a fragment of the devil's mirror which turns good to evil, beautiful to ugly. The Snow queen takes him away in her sledge, stunningly beautiful like the Narnian white witch, and keeps him in her freezing power. Kaye's close friend Gerda sets out to find him, journeying through her own varied adventures, and save him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful 5 Feb 2011
By Celia B
I was moved by the story of the Snow Queen after reading it from a non illustrated Hans Andersen Tales collection. This inspired me to purchase my own illustrated version so that I can share the story with my children whose attention spans are short without pictures to break up the text.

As an earlier reviewer has already outlined the chapters of the story, I'll keep the plot brief. The story tells of a little girl's long journey to rescue her beloved friend from the palace of the Snow Queen and release him from the spell that has turned his heart into a lump of ice and alter his personality.

The high point of this particular version of the story is the stunning illustrations by Christian Birmingham. Of all the illustrations that I have seen of the Snow Queen herself, which tend to portray her as scary and evil, I think that he captures her extremely well, beautiful and haunting but not necessarily wicked. On the front cover of the hardback version, the jacket is covered in silvery snowflakes with a circle -representing the hot coin on the window, peering at the Snow Queen who is

"dressed in a gown of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow-flakes linked together. She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice--shining and glittering ice. Still she was alive and her eyes sparkled like bright stars, but there was neither peace nor rest in their glance."

You can see more of the illustrations if you google Christian Birmingham books illustrated.

Finally, this is not an abridged version like you would get with many children's books and as a result you will not be able to finish it in one sitting if reading to a small child. I would also like to mention that because it is translated by Naomi Lewis, you can rest assured that you are getting a faithful translation of the original story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful illustrations, full of wonder 13 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful, enchanting story following the traditional Hans Christian Andersen story line. The language is clear with enough detail to give descriptions, and yet not too complex for younger listeners, but what really makes this book so magical are the realistic yet dreamlike illustrations. The Snow Queen is not evil, she is very beautiful, she looks at Gerd with great tenderness, an artistic interpretation which gives all the characters validity. Christian Birmingham has done a superb job with his illustrations.
This book is suitable for ages 4/5 ( to be read to ) up to around 10 encouraging the imagination of all children to learn and wonder.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 7 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
.... A lovely book to hold and touch and turn the pages to reveal magical artwork very appealing & relevant to the contemporary young film audiences. Important to have books like this to remind us that such old tales are everlasting and enduring.
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