cover image The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl

Hans Christian Andersen, Rachel Isadora. Putnam Publishing Group, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21336-6

Andersen's tale about a little girl who's afraid to go home because she hasn't sold enough matches is a classic. The little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, curls up in a corner, lighting match after match to warm herself. In the flames she sees visions; in the final one, her grandmother appears and lifts the little girl into heaven. With muted blues, grays and browns, Isadora captures the mood of a snowy Victorian winter reminiscent of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. With these illustrations, coupled with superb book design, the artist has surpassed even the splendid art in her previous books. Ages 4-8. (September)