Nov 2, 2020

Review--The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen & Ill. by Minalima

Nearly two hundred years after its publication in 1837, Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless fairytales continue to inspire young imaginations. This beautiful unabridged edition brings together many of the Danish writer’s favorite stories that have become literary classics, including "The Little Mermaid", "Thumbelina", "The Snow Queen", "The Princess and the Pea", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Emperor’s New Clothes", and more.

Gorgeously designed, this keepsake illustrated edition—the fourth book in Harper Design’s series of reimagined children’s classics—will be treasured by readers of all ages for generations to come.

In between reads and waiting on one to arrive, I picked up the HarperCollins latest interactive fairy tale edition, The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. I’ve previously enjoyed Peter Pan, The Beauty and the Beast, and I look forward to reading Alice in Wonderland when it releases.

This collection of fairy tales in these interactive editions are so fun! Minalima does an AMAZING job with the illustrations and interactive elements! The artwork is positively gorgeous! In this installment, I particularly enjoyed the artwork in The Little Mermaid, as the undersea life was so colorful. Another little detail I enjoyed was how the page numbers were highlighted with a little picture that was iconic to the individual story you were reading. It was nice how they were kept separate from one another.

In this book you will find the fairy tales; The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Ugly Duckling, The Swineherd, The Tinder Box, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Red Shoes, Thumbelina, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl, and The Snow Queen. Some of these I’ve read before and others were new ones for me, though I pretty much have heard of all of them! It was a treat reading the familiar ones and knowing the outcome and yet reading the new ones was also a delight since I didn’t know what was going to happen.

I could go into detail about what each fairy tale is about and I was almost going to, but instead I think I will let you read them for yourself. Just remember these are the fairy tales Disney movies were based off of, not the other way around! Some of these stories get pretty morbid, which I remembered that of The Little Mermaid. Not all fairy tales end happily ever after and after reading these, I feel like Hans was a fan of the unhappily ever after. I mean, the end usually involves death for pete’s sake!

And did you know in Thumbelina, she pretty much shrugs off leaving her mother—I assume you all know the general idea of this story. And then when she’s on the cusp of happily ever after, she let’s some prince change her name because Thumbelina is “ugly” sounding! Really? Really?! Then when you look at The Ugly Duckling, that poor little guy was nearly suicidal because everyone kept calling him ugly. And really, have you Googled “baby swans?” They are ADORABLE!!!

It truly goes to show you what a different time these writers lived in when they wrote these classic fairy tales. I mean, I get that. I really do, but man does it hurt to read such things. Why do I barely twitch an eye when a stepsister decides to cut off her toes in order to fit into a shoe, but seeing a poor little ducky heartbreakingly consider suicide because everyone calls him ugly send me into a fit of tears?! It’s insane!

Besides some of the moral issues I had with these tales, I still very much enjoyed them! I am fan of the original fairy tales and I know that they are not all happy ones. This is truly dark reading material when you think of it. Luckily, there’s a good mix of dark and light-hearted tales in this collection. A wise move on the publisher’s part I’d say! Lol.

Definitely a worthy read for the fan of fairy tales and the interactive elements alone are what make this a fantastic read! The gorgeous illustrations falling closely behind that, if not just on the level because you can’t have the elements without the art! This book, and the collection to date, is truly a work of art that any booklover should have among their shelves!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


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