cover image Elf Hill: Tales from Hans Christian Andersen

Elf Hill: Tales from Hans Christian Andersen

Naomi Lewis. Star Bright Books, $20.95 (72pp) ISBN 978-1-887734-70-7

Writer and Andersen-authority Lewis (Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales) here gathers nine of the master's incomparable tales, ranging from the very familiar (""The Little Match Girl""; ""The Princess and the Pea"") to the virtually obscure (""Little Ida's Flowers""; ""Elf Hill""). The manageable size of this anthology will encourage young readers to explore Andersen's magical world. Lewis wisely refrains from putting a personal stamp on her retellings; they mirror the originals nearly word for word. Clark (I Love You, Blue Kangaroo!), appropriately, gives herself free reign, and she takes a flight of fancy in paintings that are by turns vibrant and gently whimsical. From full-page scenes to tiny vignettes, she lightly captures all manner of creatures--elves and trolls cavorting in the woods; and toys putting on human airs in the playroom. Established Andersen fans and neophytes alike will find something to treasure here. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)