The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark

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The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A stunning and beautiful collection of classic fairy tales that every child will adore. Staying true to the originals, whilst also bringing a freshness to them, makes this a must-have anthology.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: October 2010
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846169380

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With The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Tinderbox, The Little Match Girl, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Tin Soldier, The Swineherd, The Nightingale and The Little Mermaid, this is a must-have compendium of classic fairy tales. You can't really go wrong with Hans Christian Andersen's best, can you? Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark have not just churned out the old classics, but they've given them an amazing freshness and vibrancy.

Martin Waddell stays true to all the stories, yet he often passes brief comment at the beginning or end. To call it an aside to the reader would make it sound more separate than it is; it's the author's voice coming through strongly. It's putting his own stamp on the stories, without overshadowing them, and it works brilliantly. His writing is punchy, engaging, and evocative. The vocabulary is suitable for very young book fans, being read these traditional fairy tales for the first time ever, but it's so strongly written and exciting so that older readers will treasure it for years, through learning to read to reading it all on their own.

You might well be used to twee endings to fairy tales. Disney's Little Mermaid, for example, does the whole marriage and living happily ever after thing. The originals aren't always like that, and it's great to see the proper mix of endings here. It's not always princess meets prince, prince kills baddie, wedding, bliss. The original tales, as shown in this anthology, are considerably more sophisticated, and vastly superior for it. If all you ever have is the princess myth, happy endings lose their power.

Emma Chichester Clark's illustrations are gorgeous and sit perfectly alongside the text. They're traditional enough to not be jarring, yet have their own unique style that means you don't take them for granted. They look great from the very beginning, but they actually grow on you throughout the book, until you feel like you've known them your whole life. I particularly loved seeing the tin soldier deal with the witch - gruesome enough to get the reaction that should be there in fairy tales, but appropriate enough to not be scary for even the littlest readers.

It's a gorgeous book of tales that every child should know and will love. It's beautifully presented, and will make a perfect Christmas or birthday present for any child. There are many great anthologies of classic tales, but The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales is amongst the very best, particularly because of the writing. Highly recommended.

Huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Orchard have been on fire recently with their anthologies. We also adored The Orchard Book of Swords, Sorcerers and Superheroes by Tony Bradman and Tony Ross and The Orchard Book Of Nursery Rhymes For Your Baby by Penny Dann. My Favourite Fairy Tales by Tony Ross and Aesop's Fables by Aesop, Fiona Waters and Fulvio Testa are also great choices.

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Buy The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Orchard Book Of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales by Martin Waddell and Emma Chichester Clark at Amazon.com.

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