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Happy Birthday Hans Christian Andersen

Thank you to Google for reminding me that today is the 205th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. Google has a five-image series of Andersen’s  Thumbelina surrounding their logo today.
Andersen was a Danish writer and paper-cut artist who not only recorded tales from the oral storytelling tradition (in the style of the Brothers Grimm), but who also wrote his own creations. His fairy tales were published in Europe beginning in the 1830s, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that Americans first got a look at them (in an American English edition – maybe they’d seen them before elsewhere, people did travel back then, you know).

A man named Horace E. Scudder worked for an early version of the publishing house we now know as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, known then as Hurd & Houghton. At that time in children’s publishing, children’s magazines were becoming a big deal, with many publishers vying for the position of top-circulating, best-illustrated, most-engaging-stories-by-most-famous-authors children’s magazine producer. The Riverside Magazine for Young People was first published by Hurd & Houghton in December 1866. Scudder had a close relationship with Andersen and was able to not only publish 17 of Andersen’s fairy tales in The Riverside Magazine beginning in 1868, but Scudder also negotiated on behalf of Hurd & Houghton to publish the only authorized American edition of Andersen’s stories (thank you to Leonard Marcus’s Minders of Make-Believe for this information). Scudder was constantly encouraging Andersen to make the trip across the pond and visit the States, but sadly that never happened.

Andersen’s tales have been made into movies – cartoon and live-action, plays, and ballets. They also continue to be collected in anthologies and illustrated as individual stories. Just last month in March 2010, Chronicle Books published a version of Thumbelina, illustrated by Sylvia Long (9780811855228, $17.99). One of my favorite versions of this story was illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger, published under the title Thumbeline (9780735822368, $6.95, NorthSouth). There is even a graphic novel version (9781434217417, $4.95, Capstone Press), and a re-imagined full-length middle grade novel with silhouette illustrations by Barbara Ensor (9780375839603, $12.99, Random House).

Of the hundreds of anthologies of Andersen’s work, Lisbeth Zwerger has illustrated a beautiful edition in her signature dreamy watercolor style (9780698400351, $21.99, Penguin). W.W. Norton (a publishing house) has released an annotated collected works (9780393060812, $35), while Calla Editions, an imprint of Dover Publications, has published an immense, bound in a cloth binding with gold embossed lettering, gift edition (9781606600009, $40). Lastly, don’t miss a collection of his paper cuttings – artwork that looks like reverse silhouettes, compiled by Beth Wagner Brust for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (9780618311095, $9.95).

However you prefer your Andersen, illustrated or performed, take some time today or this weekend to read a few of his treasured tales. I’d start with The Little Mermaid (if you’re reading with older children or for yourself). This isn’t a washed-out Disney version. It’s the real classic. As it should be.

 – Rebecca
Click here to see this post on my personal blog.
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Loving the #Halloween book display @quailridgebooks!
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#readstagram #readwithme #readmore #reading #read #spooky #instaread #instabook #indiesfirst #shoplocal #bookstore #bookshop #bookshelves #display #spookyreads #book #books #bookrec #bookworm #bookish #booklove #booklover #quailreads #childrensbooks #picturebooks Couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of THE WORLD SHINES FOR YOU by Jeffrey Burton and @icreature for @simonkids!
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Gorgeous illustrations pop with foil pieces that highlight the words of this simple book, perfect for even the youngest reader. The sweetly lyrical text leads the reader from one - a tree - to many - the forest - and beyond, with each turn of the page showing more and more complex scenes through fall, winter, spring, summer, country, city, morning, and night, until we reach the end where the whole world is shining. I immediately wanted to read it again. For all ages, but especially 1-3-year-olds.
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#bookrecommendations #bookreview #bookrec #book #books #bookish #bookworm #bookstagram #booklover #instabook #instaread #read #reading #readmore #readwithme #readstagram Completed road trip book 1, including a brief review (review below).
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DARK IN DEATH by JD ROBB

Does not disappoint! Another solid read in the In Death series by JD Robb. I've been reading this series since 2013, since before she came out as Nora Roberts, and I keep expecting the next book and then the next book and then the next book to dip in terms of quality of style and content and originality, but it just doesn't (thank goodness!). In #46, Dark in Death, JD ROBB almost makes a play on her own life in ways, as Eve is after a murderer who finds inspiration in a specific author's murder mysteries. Robb literally pays homage to the master of the meta, Hitchcock, with mentions of Psycho and Dial M for Murder, and I'm pretty sure the author she describes is modeled after Robb herself (physically). The plot is pretty tight and focused, but we still get glimpses of Peabody & McNab; Leonardo, Mavis, & Bella; Somerset is still off on holiday; and there is just a peek at the growing romantic interest in Nadine's life, as well as a preview of Nadine's next best-seller based on Eve's police work. I'm looking forward to a future book of Robb's that I'm sure will go into further detail either about Nadine's upcoming Oscar nomination for the first book/movie or the publication and what I'm sure will be subsequent movie of the second book. Enjoy! Weekend road trip, book 1! One of my favorite murder mystery series by the prolific JD Robb aka Nora Roberts. I discovered NAKED IN DEATH (#1) in 2003 and have been reading it ever since. So excited to see what adventure happens in #46! Pub date: January 2018
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