THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL by Jerry Pinkney

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pinkney’s deeply moving treatment of Andersen’s classic tale moves the events to an urban America of the 1920s. On a freezing New Year’s Eve, a girl stumbles outside in her stocking feet to try and sell matches. The jovial holiday crowd hustles by her; she is afraid to go home, where her father will beat her. To keep herself warm she lights her matches, and each blazes in a dream of holiday happiness. Her last vision is that of her kind grandmother, whom the child joins in a place beyond the reach of cold and poverty. On the last page, two shooting stars are shown blazing across the dark New Year’s sky. Pinkney’s detailed watercolors bring to life this cold winter night, and profusion of food and gifts just out of the girl’s reach. Flecks of snow tumble across the outdoor scenes, and warm yellow candlelight make indoor settings look especially cozy. Pinkney’s sense of pacing is also just right; readers will be captivated by the intimacy and drama his illustrations create. The result is so affecting that some will believe they’re encountering this story for the very first time. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-2314-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999