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The Emperor and the Nightingale: Troubadour Edition (Bloomsbury Children's Classics) Paperback – March 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Bloomsbury Children's Classics
  • Paperback: 25 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (NY) (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747547017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747547013
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.4 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,611,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale of a jaded ruler who learns to appreciate simple beauty receives a vivacious if loquacious treatment in this handsome picture book. For the most part, Waters spins the familiar story with aplomb; her prose, both pungent and humorous (as when she describes the palace made of fine porcelain "which did not make it the most comfortable place to live in as you always had to be rather careful where you sat"), adheres closely to Andersen's original plot and structure. Occasionally, however, the narrative gets flabby (e.g., when the kitchen maid leads the Emperor's courtiers to the nightingale: "By now the great trail of people had reached the forest and quite a few of them were looking decidedly nervous at the thought of walking in under the trees, which looked very forbidding in the dusk"). Birkbeck's meticulous illustrations take full advantage of the exotic setting in ancient China. He dedicates as much attention to the lush imperial garden planted in a riot of colors as he does a courtyard's-eye view of the hustle and bustle throughout the palace's many roomsAkitchen and treasure-house, bedroom and office. And Andersen's message is as fitting today as when he first wrote of the nightingale's healing powers. Ages 8-11. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 4-Waters retells Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale in clear, crisp language that captures the essence of the story without rendering it sterile. She chooses the best and most vivid images in the original story, and her writing is graceful and lucid. She makes a few changes, the most significant of which is that she omits the image of Death crouching on the dying emperor's chest. Instead, the ruler reflects on his good and bad deeds himself. While purists may disagree, the power of the story is not diminished by the change, and it extends the age range that would be receptive to it. Furthermore, the characterizations rely less on stereotypes and are allowed a degree of humanity not present in Eva Le Gallienne's translation in The Nightingale (HarperCollins, 1965), illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. Birkbeck's jewel-toned tapestrylike illustrations are lush and rich with detail, employing light and shadow effectively. They also contain deft touches of humor, as when the courtiers are tearing the palace apart to look for the nightingale. Unlike Burkert's illustrations or those by Lisbeth Zwerger (North-South, 1999), they do not emulate Asian art. Children and adults alike will enjoy poring over the distinctive and striking pages.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster Area Library, PA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M. Heiss on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale.

Set in a porcelain palace in China, the illustrations show the coldness of the emperor's court and the cheerful warmth all around the nightingale. The illustrations are overly busy and complex, but they are well done. The best image is of the emperor lying in bed, pale and weak. My kids like the one where the mechanical nightingale bursts apart.
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