There are many reasons Andersen is one of the great masters of the fairy tale, and they're all evident in this retelling by newcomer Peachey. The ""white bees"" of winter swarm as the Snow Queen takes an icy breath and covers the windows with ""strange and beautiful forms."" But the little lovers Kay and Gerda always keep each other in sight by making peepholes in the frost with pennies heated on the stove. When Gerda almost freezes in her pursuit of the kidnapped Kay, her breath becomes as hot as steam and takes the shape of warrior angels who cause the snow to fall ""into thousands of pieces."" The illustrations by Lynch are spectacular, fraught with lush and imaginative detail: In his interpretation of the above battle, the angels are made of pale glowing embers and the snowflakes become snarling ice-demons who hurl glasslike shards. In this tale, presented here by a gifted team, the real becomes poetry and the unreal seems utterly believable.