Author: Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrated: Sanna Annukka
Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish-English illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art.
Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane’s album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen.
This is my favorite fairy tale, hands down. If I’m honest, I’m such a huge fan of snow and cold weather. The idea of snow becoming personified makes a lot of sense, because winter does seem to have a life of its own. I love in Texas, and we don’t get much winter, but I grew up with it. I miss it so much! Reading this book makes me long for a good winter.
Along with the evocative imagery of winter, there is a very emotional and spiritual love story. Kay and Gerda share a strong emotional bond, but that bond is damaged by Kay’s infection with the slivers from the shattered evil mirror. His eye and his heart are pricked, and it changes the way he sees the world, and makes his loving heart grow cold towards poor Gerda. But Gerda doesn’t give up on him. When the Snow Queen steals away Kay, she goes searching for him, going on quite an odyssey and meeting some very unusual people along the way. But she never gives up on him.
The lesson of sacrificial love never gets old. That kind of love can melt the fiercest frozen heart and claim back those who are lost. I loved rereading this, and the illustrations I had in my version was a lovely adjunct.
If one has not ever read this book, I highly recommend it. It’s available as a free ebook as part of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tale collection.
About The Author
Hans Christian Andersen (often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen’s popularity is not limited to children; his stories—called eventyr, or “fairy-tales”—express themes that transcend age and nationality.
Andersen’s fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. Some of his most famous fairy tales include “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Nightingale”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and many more. His stories have inspired plays, ballets, and both live-action and animated films.