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The Little Match Girl Hardcover – September 21, 1987


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The Little Match Girl + The Gift of the Magi + The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; Library Binding edition (September 21, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399213368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399213366
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Andersen's tale about a little girl who's afraid to go home because she hasn't sold enough matches is a classic. The little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, curls up in a corner, lighting match after match to warm herself. In the flames she sees visions; in the final one, her grandmother appears and lifts the little girl into heaven. With muted blues, grays and browns, Isadora captures the mood of a snowy Victorian winter reminiscent of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. With these illustrations, coupled with superb book design, the artist has surpassed even the splendid art in her previous books. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–An internationally renowned Czech artist brings her avant-garde perspective to Andersen's timeless fable. Pacovská's playful art is challenging and experimental, featuring childish scrawls, bright smudges of color along with silver inlays, and whimsically amorphous figures. One illustration depicts the girl's eyes, nose, and cupped hands scribbled across what appears to be a financial balance sheet. One spread consists of squares of color smudges facing a shiny silver page on which readers find their own reflection. The two pages are linked by a multicolored paintbrush/matchstick form. The image of the matchstick recurs throughout in all colors and shapes, singly or in groups, some leaning at angles, some resembling picket fences. Though the art challenges, it is appropriately childlike and whimsical, and opens this classic tale to new interpretations. Thoughtful students of folktale will welcome Pacovská's brilliantly innovative vision.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is an excellent book to read for children.
Yasimine Hatim
Perhaps it is the very sternest message which can be given to some people.
Mark Grindell
This story was read to me as a child,and I loved it then,and still do.
P. Heise

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this story during Christmas week of my 5th Christmas. My mother found it in its entirety in a Christmas magazine and I read it.

An unnamed girl is sent out into the cold by her abusive father to sell matches. He beats her whenever she fails to bring in a satisfactory income for her work.

One night, after a day of no sales, the child, frozen to the bone, lights a match. A glorious vision of a Christmas tree appears. The vision fades away when the match burns out. The second match the girl lights shows a Christmas feast. This feast of illusions dies too, with the match.

The third time she lights a match, her beloved, deceased grandmother appears. The girl runs to her, never to return to the cold again. The next morning she is found frozen to death in the snow.

This story gets to me 100% of the time. To this day it makes me get misty eyed. It is truly the saddest holiday story I have ever come across.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mark Grindell on October 30, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
Everyone need to hear this. Even if you find afterwards you can't breathe for a moment, and you find yourself stumbling in a haze of tears and grief. I don't think that we were ever told that we would be spared such things if they would bring good.
The whole point of this story is to bring the searchlight of compassion and charity into the heart. Too often we tend to think ourselves poor. In Andersons day we would all be considered rich compared with most of those about. And fortunate. We are enlightened enough (at least in Britain) to help people with no jobs and who don't quite know what to do next.
This is quite a stern message and a wake up call to everyone. Perhaps it is the very sternest message which can be given to some people. It is very, very sad, but you have to remember that the girl does reach paradise, as do many every day, and if this is too sad, then, well, there is no answer beyond the consolations of heaven.
The story speaks much about the sanctity of human life on earth, and I suspect that this will become a more pointed message in the Western World as time goes on this century. If death happens in this way, if there is ANY possibility of this happening in your city (there is in the one I am in, but small), we should be listening to Christ:
"I was hungry and you gave me no meat, thirsty and you gave me no drink, naked, and ye clothed me not, sick.. and in prison.. and ye visited me not..."
We .. I .. should be there, aware that once the beggars were once little boys and girls, who have now grown old. SOme have lost their parents, some have lost other things, but they should not be forgotten. This winter it might be very cold.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marda V. Barton on October 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christen Andersen was the first book I read as a child that affected me profoundly. I was able to make a personal connection to the text because I too was a young girl who was impoverished at the time. I knew what it felt like to be cold and hungry and I related immediately to the main character.

I came away from reading this book with empathy, sympathy, and knowing the truth: Not everyone has been blessed with having their basic needs met. In addition, I experienced a great joy when her grandmother takes her up to heaven to a better comforting place.

I came away with the concept that death was not something to be feared or a bad thing, but something that might be comforting and
positive. I have always loved this book. Because even as a child who was struggling I too had many things to be thankful for in comparison to what the little match girl had. The underlying message is powerful and real.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tree Climber on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This fairy tale is a favorite from my childhood. It is a classic story of a little girl who is alone, poor, cold, hungry and afraid to return home becasue she has sold no matches. As she is freezing to death, she lights the matches to keep warm. As she lights them, she sees all the lovely scenes of life that she has missed...Finally she sees her loving grandmother who takes her to Heaven. The story's deeper meaning is that there are things worse than death, and with the little girl's death, she is no longer hungry, cold and unloved.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This was the tale of a poor young girl that was trying to sale matches to people on the streets to make money to keep her family warm. One night she went out and was told by her father not to return without selling all the matches she had. No one wanted to buy any matches and she didn't want to go home because she was afraid that her father was hit her. She decided to curl up on the street corner and light some matches to try and stay warm. When she lit the matches magical things happened. She saw really pleasant things within the flames. In one of them she saw a great feast and all her family together. In another match she lit she saw images of her grandmother and this was something that she really treasured so she lit the rest of them to see if she could see the images of her grandmother again. This time it was like her grandmother was right there with her. All of the sudden something happen, she had a warm feeling and she flew off with her grandmother to heaven.
This is a really great story. It is very sad but it is one of my favorite tails. The way that the images in the matches are described are great and you really get a feeling of the cold and what the girl is feeling. There were great pictured to accompany the story. When the end of the story comes around and she is flying off with her grandmother I have more of a feeling of happiness because she is now happy up in heaven with her grandmother. I think the author got across a great array of emotions within this book and the book is one that you could read over many time and still have that feeling time and time again.
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