Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763620790, 40pp.
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Luminous illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline combine with Brian Alderson’s wry retelling for a gorgeous gift edition of a well-loved tale.
A childless woman visits a witch who gives her a barleycorn — and hidden in its bloom is a tiny girl. For one so small, Thumbelina’s life is full of misadventures as she floats through the pages like a wisp on the wind, encountering kind and unkind creatures in succession. But old Mrs. Toad with her "rek-kek-kek" and the alarming Man in Gray cannot crush her spirits, and Thumbelina’s gentle concern for a winged soul in need paves the way to her freedom and happiness. In a warm, witty retelling accessible to younger children, Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a girl no bigger than a thumb is lavishly illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Showcasing art evocative of Victorian storybooks — with a touch of the dreamlike Rousseau — this is truly a breathtaking edition of a treasured classic.
Brian Alderson is the chief children's book reviewer for the London Times and a lecturer and writer on the history of children's literature. He received great acclaim for his retelling of classic Grimm fairy tales, The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Michael Foreman. This collection was described by Robert Nye of the Times as "The version of the stories."
Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Russia and educated at the Moscow State Academic Art Institute. His first book was Philip Booth's "Crossing", named a 2001 Best Book by "Publishers Weekly".He is best known for his books with Kate di Camillo, "The Miraculous Journey ofEdward Tulane", and "Great Joy". Bagram lives in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.