Have you read Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen? You haven’t? Then make yourself comfortable. This tiny girl has been through many troubles, but remained kind and compassionate. Are you eager to learn what happened to her? Let’s go then.
In this spare and lilting unabridged translation of the classic tale, the tiny girl's pleasant life is interrupted when she is stolen in sleep by an ugly matron-toad who seeks a wife for her son. A series of misadventures with goliath-like creatures--whether a cruel may-bug or a compassionate field mouse--leaves the beautiful Thumbelina feeling like a misfit. But her kindness in saving a swallow's life is returned when the bird flies her south to its enchanted garden. Here, Thumbelina finally meets her prince and discovers she is home. Graston, in a stunning debut, uses a light-shifting background of subtly tinted tiles as a backdrop to the range of miniature delights (a walnut-shell bed with rose-petal linens, a butterfly-powered sail on a lily pad) and darker emotions (loneliness and feeling out of place). The artwork varies from the silken and jewel-like (flowers and butterfly wings) to the earthy and somber (the cultured mole's underground home, the ailing swallow's feathered chest). The finale grounds the heady sentiment of the fairy-tale ending: the swallow perches on the venerable storyteller's fingers as it relates the tale to Andersen. All ages.