- Age Range: 5 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 and up
- Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (February 3, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525469559
- ISBN-13: 978-0525469551
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.5 x 11.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perfect Wizard, The: Hans Christian Andersen Hardcover – February 3, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5–"Hans told lies, too. About his past life. About his present life. He called them fairy tales." Yolen uses these words at the start of her simple, wistful, and winsome portrait of a very complicated and, by most accounts, very unhappy man. From the humble, one-room shoemaker's house of his birth to his tortured schoolboy days, from the haunting trauma of his father's death to the eventual recognition of his genius, readers follow this persistent artist through the landscape of 19th-century Denmark on his quest for some kind of personal and professional peace. This volume, with its patrician wallpaper and sepia-tinged pastel pictures framed with gentle arches, is handsome where its ugly-duckling subject was, by his own reckoning, most assuredly not. In her affectionate, fairy-tale-flavored narrative, Yolen pairs events from Andersen's life with excerpts from his stories, providing new and different interpretations of the tales in this context. Full-page paintings depict the realistic scenes, while smaller vignettes illustrate the fictional ones; these oval-shaped pictures seem to let viewers peer right into the meanderings of Andersen's yearning imagination. The quotes take on new and different meanings when readers see them connected, both visually and verbally, to real experiences and emotions. With a well-measured note from the author and a meticulous listing of excerpt sources, this is a carefully crafted, lovely, and loving tribute to the father of the modern fairy tale.–Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Gr. 1-3. This lively picture-book account of Andersen's life concentrates on his childhood and youth, which included a lengthy "ugly duckling" phase before his poverty and privation were overmatched by his hard work and determination. Meanwhile, Andersen developed his talents as a writer and eventually achieved international fame and literary immortality. Andersen grows from boy to man in a series of sensitive and often dreamlike pictures. Gracefully drawn and softly lit, the illustrations create a sense of another world through sepia and pale blue tones sparked with brighter colors. One large, full-page picture appears on each spread, facing a page with a few paragraphs telling his story and a passage from his fairy tales accompanied by a smaller picture illustrating the passage. The quotes from the tales relate to stages and events in the writer's life, but children are free to draw their own connections. This handsome biography is a fine choice to display or read aloud on April 2, which is International Children's Book Day and (no coincidence here) Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. Carolyn Phelan
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Top Customer Reviews
My son picked this up because "Hans" is close to "Han" (as in Solo) and he needed to choose a biography of a writer. So it goes. I was blown away by the artwork -- large illustrations of Andersen's circumstances, plus small illustrations of the stories.
Gorgeous book! Enjoy it for yourself!