cover image The Snow Queen: A Fairy Tale

The Snow Queen: A Fairy Tale

Hans Christian Andersen. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-0485-4

In one of Andersen's most beautiful stories, the boy Kay leaves his companion Gerda to go far north with the evil, cold-hearted Snow Queen. Gerda goes in search of Kay, encountering many adventures, but eventually finds the boy and melts the ice in his heart with her tears. Watts' illustrationsdespite her lovely, unpretentious characters, detailed renderings of simple interiors and pastoral exteriorsfail to capture the spirit of this dark, mysterious story; the powerful telling loses impact in the sweet, unthreatening pictureseven those of ominous events. Ages 5-8. (October)