|Tenggren's Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren. |
(A Little Golden Book) Simon & Schuster, 1953.
I shared a page from this book over four years ago - wait, my blog is that old? - but with the cold rainy weather finally starting to give way to spring here in south-central Kansas, it feels like an appropriate time to share the whole book.
This book combines so many things I love: Little Golden Books, Gustaf Tenggren's illustrations, Hans Christian Andersen, fairy tales...
My favorite illustrations in this version are the flowers on the bank of the little lake, and Thumbelina asleep in her walnut shell. The whole book is quite lovely, though, even as worn and yellowed as my vintage copy is.
I first learned this story via a 1984 episode of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre. It starred a gorgeous Carrie Fisher (R.I.P.), Conchata Ferrell, Burgess Meredith, and William Katt. It is still one of my favorites in the series. Even the music is sweet.
Since then, I've read the Andersen original, as well as other retellings. What I love most about the Faerie Tale Theatre version is the fact that her adopted mother reunites with her in the end. While the original story begins with a woman wishing for a child, once Thumbelina is kidnapped by the Toad, the mother is never mentioned again.