The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator)

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The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator)

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Buy The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley
Summary: Beautiful reissue of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, retold by Caroline Peachey, with dreamy illustrations by P.J. Lynch. A perfect family Christmas read aloud.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: November 2009
Publisher: Andersen Press
ISBN: 9781842709016

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Determined heroine Gerda has a series of adventures on her journey to find her friend Kay after he has been spirited away by the Snow Queen to live in her palace of ice. The Snow Queen is one of Hans Christian Andersen’s less disturbing fables with a message about the power of love and true friendship. No heart wrenching deaths like The Little Match Girl, no tortured longing like The Little Mermaid, it has the benefit of a happy ending. And, in contrast to so many traditional tales where the hero is usually male, its star is a lively girl who rescues her friend against all the odds.

The Snow Queen is one of those stories that virtually everyone knows, in one form or another. This one is a real collector’s piece. It has a lovely, slightly simplified version of the original text, with outstanding illustrations by P.J. Lynch. So many great illustrators have tackled this tale that it’s a hard act to follow. But Lynch’s pictures are up there with the best classic editions of this book, which has been illustrated by the likes of Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham and Kay Nielsen. Lynch’s interpretation of the story makes it leap off the page. It is imaginative (see the Snow Queen moving over the roof tops: half woman, half element) but also makes the reader see the children as only too real (see Kay curled up at the feet of the Queen).

This is a long story for sharing and is definitely aimed at the upper end of the age range for this category. It could also be read independently by confident readers. But it is split into parts that could be read over a few nights and the language does cry out to be read aloud! Just listen to the description of the Snow Queen’s palace:

The walls of the palace were made of the driven snow, its doors and windows of the cutting winds. There were a hundred halls, the largest of which was many miles long, all illuminated by the Northern lights. They were all alike: vast, empty, icily cold and dazzlingly white.

Put alongside Lynch’s illustrations this is irresistible reading, perfect for cold winter nights.

For another fabulous version of this tale try The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Naomi Lewis and Christian Birmingham

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

Buy The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and P J Lynch (Illustrator) at Amazon.com.

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