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THUMBELINA by Brad Sneed


adapted by Brad Sneed & illustrated by Brad Sneed

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8037-2812-3
Publisher: Dial

In a new retelling of Anderson’s tale of a tiny girl traded from frog to bug to rodent, adaptor and illustrator Sneed creates a lush, Lilliputian world of jewel-eyed insects and gargantuan flowers. The attentive creatures, all in love with the frail Thumbelina, are only slightly personified à la Wind in the Willows. Alternating between one- and two-page, full-bleed illustrations, Sneed uses perspective to great advantage, casting each creature as considerably larger than Thumbelina. As she sleeps alone in the forest, for instance, the leaves above her are huge and even a nearby caterpillar is twice her size. The spot illustrations that accompany the text also help to move the story forward, a tiny one of Thumbelina standing by the near-dead bird, emphasizing the moment of loss. Sneed’s luminous watercolors make this a nice package. The text, however, does sometimes outpace the illustrations, which might cause confusion or questions. Not perfect, but collections in need of more Anderson will welcome this. (Picture book. 4-9)