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Author: Daniel Picouly, after Hans Christian Andersen

Illustrator: Olivier Tallec

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Publisher: Enchanged Lion Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Many years ago, in a place called Toulaba, a woman wanted a child. She already many children, and this time she wanted a child no bigger than the smallest of children. Thumbelina, the smallest of children, was born from a millet seed. All of her siblings loved her, but one ... and he had plans to eat her. That's when Thumbelina's journey begins, and each animal she meets wants to keep Thumbelina as their own. The more she traveled, the more she wondered what her destiny would be. This retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's fable adds great imagery and a modern theme.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Age of Child: Read with a nearly 9-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "Oh, not another Thumbelina story." Thankfully I kept reading, because within minutes, my daughter settled in, cuddled up, and listened to the rest of the story. Then we had to read it again. She loved the illustrations and trying to find Thumbelina on every page.

Adult Reader Reaction: I don't remember much about Hans Christian Anderson's original story and have seen the Barbie version more than I care to admit. I L-O-V-E this story, though. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love the sense of fairy tale and folklore that come through ... not to mention how Thumbelina decides her own destiny.

Pros: Beautiful illustrations, an adorable little girl, and wonderful adventures make this a great story to share with boys and girls alike.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a classic story beautifully represented. Thumbelina will be a good friend to your daughter on days when she doubts herself.


Educational Themes: This would be a fun book to contrast and compare with Anderson's original story ... or see how many retellings there are. There is a "Glossary of the Exotic" in the back that will help you explore some of the material (plants, animals, habitat) even more.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fairy tale, fables and folklore, classic literature

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010

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