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adapted by Sylvia Long & illustrated by Sylvia Long

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8118-5522-8
Publisher: Chronicle

Long hews very closely to the Hans Christian Andersen tale, in which a woman longing for a child finds a tiny one in a flower grown from an enchanted barley seed given to her by a fairy. Thumbelina, as she is called, is abducted by a toad but rescued by fish and a butterfly, found ugly by a group of beetles and fed through the bitter winter by a mouse in exchange for telling stories and keeping things tidy. The mouse, however, wants to marry Thumbelina off to her neighbor the mole, who never sees the sun. It is Thumbelina’s kindness that saves her; she nurses an injured swallow over the winter, and he in turn saves her, flying her to a warm land where she finds a prince “scarcely larger than herself,” who marries her at once. While Thumbelina and the prince look like young adolescents—and earthbound ones at that—rather than fairies or sprites, the fish, birds and, especially, flowers are gorgeous ink-and-watercolor images. The illustrator has made a lush and vivid world for her Thumbelina to inhabit. (Fairy tale. 5-9)