The Fir Tree Review

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

Gorgeously packaged with intricate illustrations from Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka, this new edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s well-loved fairy tale, The Fir Tree, is the perfect holiday gift for adults and children alike.

Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the striking and contemporary illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is elevated from a children’s book to a unique work of art and makes an ideal gift for people of all ages.

REVIEW

‘The Fir Tree’ by Hans Christian Andersen gets a gorgeous new edition with illustrations by Sanna Annukka. They don’t make the story any happier, but they add some beauty to the pages.

The story is of a fir tree living in the woods. At first he is not tall enough to be chosen and resents the rabbits who jump over him. He wants more and yearns for it. Eventually, he grows tall enough and is chosen as a Christmas tree and thinks his life will only get better and better. This is not what happens.

It’s a story of dissatisfaction and realizing too late what is lost in the pursuit for what one wants. Hans Christian Andersen can write a sad story, and this one is no exception. I’m glad that this didn’t get rewritten in the telling.

The illustrations that accompany this edition are really good. Sanna Annukka’s style seems to be geometric shapes and interesting contrasting colors. There are trees in the forest, and fish swimming below a harbor. There are mice and ornaments and even the final pages of the book have beautiful images of the tree’s final moments. I’m not sure it’s a Christmas classic like I know them, but I love this edition of the story.

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.

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