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The Snow Queen : A Retelling of the Fairy Tale Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5–Andersen's tale has been considerably abridged to fit into a picture-book format, and the most obvious references to Christianity have been removed. The retelling still emphasizes the struggle between good and evil, as it relates Gerda's quest to rescue her friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen. Ibatoulline's sumptuous paintings perfectly capture the tale's high drama. Appropriately, the first glimpse of the two friends is from the snowy rooftops of their town, though they're snug and warm indoors. Then a splinter from the evil troll's mirror enters the room on a gust of wind, and Kai's heart is pierced. The dramatic moment is seen from above as a whirl of white invades the room. The next scene finds Kai, scared yet stubbornly clinging to his sled as the Snow Queen's sleigh whisks him away into the night. As Kai falls under her enchantment, the story turns to Gerda and her efforts to bring him back. The gentle, wistful child's strength lies in her certitude and innocent love, and she wins over everyone she meets. Whether it's in his meticulously crafted landscapes or in the emotive faces of his characters, Ibatoulline's paintings are eye-catching and memorable. Another outstanding version of a classic story.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this abridged version of Andersen’s original fairy tale, young Gerda and Kai have long been best friends, but Kai becomes cruel when tiny slivers of a cursed mirror pierce his eye and his heart. Soon the Snow Queen takes him away to her home, and Gerda sets out on a quest to save him. She endures many trials as she travels to the Snow Queen’s palace, where she finds Kai and frees him. No source is given for the translation or abridgment. Lacking the religious content woven through Andersen’s tale, this edition is more accessible to contemporary children. While the telling is considerably shorter than the original, it is somewhat longer than most picture-book texts. The episodic story moves along well, though, and its length gives viewers plenty of time to linger over the detailed illustrations. Skillfully rendered and beautifully composed, the acrylic gouache paintings create a series of impressive images that many readers will enjoy. Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan
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Top customer reviews
The only thing I found a little troublesome was the size and color of the story text - it's a bit small, in my opinion, and somewhat hard to see in places because it doesn't contrast enough with the background color. It might be difficult to read for some people.
Overall, though, I am very pleased with the product and I am excited to share this story with my friend.
For those with tender children: the original scene with the robber-girl (with the knife and all) is either left out or altered till it is not all that scary, if at all. One of the pop-ups (this first one if I remember correctly) is of a scary-looking goblin and he is all over the page in his scariness. (Search for the video if this is a concern).