by Hans Christian Anderson and Brian Pinkney, Illustrations by Brian Pinkney

Greenwillow Books, September, 2003.
Picture Book, 40 pages.
ISBN: 0688174760
Ages 4-8

Thumbelina by Hans Christian Anderson and Brian Pinkney Hans Christen Anderson's classic story about the tiny girl named Thumbelina gets an updated and modern twist in this bold retelling. Brian Pinkney's Thumbelina is a mocha-skinned beauty who grew from a magic seed that her mother (who had longed for a child) purchased from an old woman. Thumbelina is kidnapped by a frog who thinks she would make a great wife for her froggy son. Thumbelina escapes this and other forced marriages, escaping with the help of a swallow who she had nursed back to health. The swallow brings Thumbelina to the world of the flower people -- people who are just like her. The handsome king of the flower people asks Thumbelina to be his bride and queen, and she accepts.

The illustrations are bold and vibrant, with thick, curving lines which convey a sense of movement and emotion. The artist sketches just enough of the outline of the main shapes to convey the concept of the scene, which gives this old story some new, raw energy. Thumbelina herself is sweet and caring, nursing a bird back to health and worrying about deserting her friend the field mouse. The enchanting illustrations and updated story make this a fairy tale worth re-reading.

Thumbelina is available for purchase on

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This review was published in the January-February, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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