THE TINDERBOX by Hans Christian Andersen

THE TINDERBOX

Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mitchell and Ibatoulline, after Andersen’s The Nightingale, adapt another of the Danish master’s tales. A soldier encounters an ugly witch who offers to enrich him for a favor—fetching a lost tinderbox from a lamp-lit hall inside a hollow tree. The soldier, following her instructions, tames three massive, huge-eyed dogs guarding coin-filled rooms. Arguing with the witch over the retrieved tinderbox, the soldier severs her head. In town, his fortunes wax and wane with his riches. Discovering that striking the tinderbox convenes the magical dogs to do his bidding, he crafts nighttime visits with a beautiful, cosseted princess, enraging her royal parents. The summoned dogs foil the soldier’s hanging, wreaking murderous mayhem that presages his marriage to the princess. There are no source notes, but Mitchell’s crisp retelling seems faithful to Haugaard’s translation, occasionally substituting less colloquial terms (eyes like dinner plates instead of millstones, for example). Ibatoulline’s muted watercolors, roiling with inked crosshatching, capture both period details and the curiously satisfying menace of the canine trio. Handsome and engrossing. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7636-2078-5
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007




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