cover image The Tinderbox

The Tinderbox

Hans Christian Andersen, Peggy Thomson. Simon & Schuster, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-70546-6

Although Warhola's artwork is well designed and sometimes delightfully quirky, this retelling of Andersen's familiar story is not nearly as effective as Barry Moser's recent, more unified and distinctive version. Warhola's comedic talents are considerable, but in this case the blend of fantasy and humor does not match the character of the story, e.g., Andersen's mysterious and magical dogs are made to resemble Looney Tune bulldogs with bright round eyes rather than the compelling creatures they must be in order for the story to work. Thompson freely deviates from the original text--instead of killing the king at the end of the story, the dogs swallow and then antiseptically spit out the royal couple--and her cliche-ridden text is neither interesting nor lively. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)