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The Steadfast Tin Soldier Paperback – February 22, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- Here's one of those odd publishing coincidences that seems to happen every so often--simultaneous new editions of the same story. Although very different in treatment, each is compelling in its own way and both are visually beautiful. Lynch's illustrations are, perhaps, the more unusual. Like closeup camera shots, they are tightly focused on the soldier and show only those bits of the world at large that affect him. These narrow, sometimes startling perspectives give certain illustrations real depth and dimension, creating powerful visual images, while his use of dense, neutral shades underscores the drama of the soldier's journey and provides a sense of hard-edged reality. The book's overall design is not as effective as some of the individual illustrations, however. Small, extraneous drawings of toys punctuate large blocks of text and distract the eye from its primary focus on the facing page. The placement of the text is blocky and awkward, often laid on top of the illustrations in a distracting manner. Marcellino takes a more traditional approach in his illustrations. Viewers will recognize this immediately as a "fairy tale" by his use of soft, misty colors, all washed in the golden glow of candlelight. The palette is warm, and the pictures have texture and a panoramic sweep that gives substance to the wider world in which the Tin Soldier's adventures take place, enhancing the sense of the his haplessness. The illustrations are flatter, less dynamic than Lynch's, but the overall design is more effective. From title page to endpapers, careful and loving attention has been paid to balance and flow; the typeface is eye-catching and integral to the whole. Although both books are primarily showcases for the artists, the story is still important and the two are quite different. Lewis's translation is standard Andersen--wordy and slightly old-fashioned, but very readable. Seidler's text, while maintaining a strong sense of Andersen's voice, is tighter and much more direct. It reads fluidly with a verbal balance and flow that complements Marcellino's illustrations. For overall quality bookmaking, the choice would be the Marcellino, although Lynch's work is fresh and different, and has more child appeal. Comparison of the two works will enhance a whole language study and could be a valuable exercise for art classes as well. --Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A lovely story of courage and love. -- Evening Standard
Dramatically beautiful illustrations capture every nuance of the story. -- The Guardian
Top customer reviews
*** Illustrations lovely. However, if possible, I highly recommend the same book, with the illustrator, Marcelliano (last name). These illustrations are captivating, and well worth the extra cost of the book.
***Book highly recommended!!!
The illustrations though are very beautiful - especially the page with the fish, the fish seem very detailed. The illustrations look like they might have been originally oil painted. I chose this edition because unbelievably there wasn't a lot to choose from on Amazon, surprisingly editions of The Steadfast Tin Soldier has been sold out by many other publications. I also chose this one because the soldiers' uniform look like a red version of the USMC's dress blue uniform (Marine wife!), and because he's shouldering a bayonet (just like the Marines).
Anyway, the story itself is true to the Andersen, so this is not a re-telling, but a translation instead. However, it seems to be translated into British English and not American English. This doesn't bother me too much as mostly the words are the same with different spelling - like colour instead of color.
I completely forgot all about this story until I happened upon it in 2011. I felt like this story touch me personally and I love it very much. My husband lost his right leg in Afghanistan in October 2010 by stepping on an IED. This story is about a tin soldier with only one leg - and in the drawing, where his other leg would have been is a stump, which makes me think of all those veterans out there that this tin soldier represents in reality. Anyway, he is so brave, and it's a sad love story with a tragic ending, and it made me cry.
I only gave it four stars instead of five because I didn't really like the layout too much as I already mentioned, but the story itself is very touching and beautiful and deserves five stars; but I wish I could find another edition with a different layout though. Anyway, it arrived within a week with Free Super Saving Shipping.