April 2nd is Hans Christian Anderson’s Birthday and–no coincidence–International Children’s Book Day. This is truly one of our favorite celebrations of the year. It’s right around the corner, so it’s time to prepare and have books on hand. We’ve blogged enthusiastically about this holiday before; for more information and book recommendations, check out our writings on International Children’s Book Day. But we can’t resist reminding everyone of a great reason to celebrate books, and the birthday of an important children’s book author.
This year, we want to highlight a couple of gorgeously illustrated Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales that are true to the original story:
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, illustrated by Vladyslav Yerko
The illustrations by award-winning Ukrainian artist Vladyslav Yerko make this book truly one of the most beautiful picture books you hold in your hands. The story of friendship, venturing out into the world, and the magical elements of the magic mirror, evil demons, how our memories shape us are timely today in this classic tale. This is a wonderful coffee-table book; adults and children alike are drawn to it and can’t put it down.
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, illustrated by Charles Santore
This is definitely not the Disney-fied version so many expect. Instead, this is the original tale–one of love, hope, sacrifice–and not a happy ending, though one that keeps working on readers and sparks rich discussions. The illustrations by award-winning modern artist Charles Santore are gorgeous–kids we know don’t want to hurry to turn the page. There’s simply too much captivating art to tempt the eye to wander and linger. We’re often asked what age this book and story are most appropriate for. You know the children in your lives best to make that decision, but in our experience, around 8 years old and older are particularly intrigued and ready to dig into the tale as told by master storyteller Hans Christian Anderson.