THE SWAN'S STORIES by Hans Christian Andersen

THE SWAN'S STORIES

by , illustrated by , translated by
Age Range: 7 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Alderson (The Brothers Grimm, p. 299, etc.) translates 12 stories, some of which he previously published (e.g., in his edition of Andrew Lang's The Yellow Fairy Book, 1980, etc.). ``The Steadfast Tin Soldier'' and ``The Fir Tree'' are here, but so are stories about the lives of other inanimate objects: darning needle, collar, porcelain toys. Among Andersen's classics, these stories are relatively obscure, of interest only to adult laborers in the children's book field: They seem set up to house sarcastic social commentary (``The Collar''), and many just trail off instead of ending. ``The Money Pig'' ends as a piggy bank crashes to the floor, but the action in the story is almost incoherent to contemporary children. ``Grief,'' about a child who lacks the trouser-button entry fee to gain a glimpse of a pug dog's grave, trammels budding interest with this closing line: ``So that's the story, and if any of you don't understand it, then you can go and take some shares in the widow's tannery.'' A swan--a Father Gooselike figure--leads children from story to story, but doesn't make it any easier for them to drink. Riddell's charmingly appropriate full-color illustrations and black-and-white spot drawings, as well as the meticulous and graceful layout, make the book a welcome addition to any shelf- -but getting children to read it is an entirely different matter. (glossary) (Fiction/folklore. 7-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-56402-894-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1997




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