Sylvia Long's Thumbelina
Sylvia Long's Thumbelina
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Annotation: A tiny girl no bigger than a thumb is stolen by a great ugly toad and subsequently has many adventures and makes many animal friends, before finding the perfect mate in a warm and beautiful southern land.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #4274733
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2010
Pages: 58
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8118-5522-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-8118-5522-8
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 2009004369
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Subject Heading:
Fairy tales.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Long hews very closely to the Hans Christian Andersen tale, in which a woman longing for a child finds a tiny one in a flower grown from an enchanted barley seed given to her by a fairy. Thumbelina, as she is called, is abducted by a toad but rescued by fish and a butterfly, found ugly by a group of beetles and fed through the bitter winter by a mouse in exchange for telling stories and keeping things tidy. The mouse, however, wants to marry Thumbelina off to her neighbor the mole, who never sees the sun. It is Thumbelina's kindness that saves her; she nurses an injured swallow over the winter, and he in turn saves her, flying her to a warm land where she finds a prince "scarcely larger than herself," who marries her at once. While Thumbelina and the prince look like young adolescents—and earthbound ones at that—rather than fairies or sprites, the fish, birds and, especially, flowers are gorgeous ink-and-watercolor images. The illustrator has made a lush and vivid world for her Thumbelina to inhabit. (Fairy tale. 5-9)
Publishers Weekly

In Long's faithful retelling of Ander-sen's tale, the tiny Thumbelina is courted by a succession of appalling suitors—a toad, a beetle, and a pompous mole—but escapes a life of misery with the help of a swallow whose life she saved. Working in meticulously drafted ink and watercolor, Long (Because You Are My Baby) lingers over Thumbelina's flower-petal and dried-leaf wardrobe, paints careful closeups of the swallow she cares for, and gives the spiders who help Thumbelina spin the flax for her wedding trousseau little knit sweaters. (Thumbelina herself is blonde and freckled; her California freshness is perhaps the book's only off note.) The prospect of a suffocating life underground—“Don't be stubborn or I shall bite you with my sharp teeth!” scolds the field mouse who acts as Thumbelina's guardian, irritated at her rejection of a secure marriage—is redeemed by Ander-sen's uncharacteristically happy ending, and Long celebrates it with a spectacular foldout of the wedding. Elsewhere, vertical spreads emphasize Thumbelina's tininess relative to gigantic, nodding poppies and gargantuan cattails. A jewel box of a work whose pages invite lingering. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)

School Library Journal
Gr 24 While following the familiar story line of Hans Christian Andersen's original, Long effectively condenses the narrative and gives a contemporary touch to the wording. But what holds the eye is the artist's impressive use of the spreads (sometimes held in vertical mode). Thumbelina's adventures with the beautifully drawn toad, beetles, mouse, mole, and swallow unfold in jewel-like colors, defined textures, and well-imagined details to complete the surroundings. Unfortunately, the tiny girl displays awkward facial expressions and distorted body stances, marring the presentation. Nevertheless, childrengirls in particularwill undoubtedly delight in the happy ending where a gatefold reveals the flower-filled wedding of Thumbelina and her prince. Recommended for libraries needing a new copy of the story. Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (6/1/10)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 2,701
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 138103 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: O

From best-selling artist Sylvia Long comes an exquisite version of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved tale about a thumb-size girl and her larger-than-life adventures. Jewel-toned paintings depict the story's settings from light and airy meadows to Mole's dark and dismal underground homewhile whimsical details bring the classic cast of characters to life and make this storytime favorite a visual feast.

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