cover image The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Hans Christian Andersen, trans. from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra, illus. by Helen Crawford-White. Pushkin, $9.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-78269-249-2

This slim volume holds both Andersen’s much-read tale of a mermaid who sacrifices her voice for a chance to win the human prince she loves and the story of a “true-hearted” tin soldier with one leg who falls in love with a paper ballerina. Both focus on doomed, unreciprocated love, their characters’ sacrifice and loyalty resonating with spiritual meaning. Hoekstra’s adept translation captures the author’s signature baroque detail: “The fruit shone like gold and the flowers looked like burning flames, their stems and leaves forever flickering.” Andersen’s vivid imagined world and curlicued spiritual plots overshadow Crawford-White’s occasional black-and-white illustrations; their style recalls the detailed images popular in adult coloring books. Ages 7–10. (Mar.)