I don't remember which relative bought this copy of Anderson's The Snow Queen for me, but I've loved it since I first unwrapped it. I've tried to read other versions of it, but I keep coming back to this one. It is mostly because of the pictures, they are exquisite and I think add greatly to the story.
The main character is Gerda, a young girl who must brave an unknown and often cruel world in order to save a dear friend. Kay, the boy, has been changed by two slivers of mirror shards from the Devil's own mirror that twist the world and cause him to act horribly. He becomes entangled in the Snow Queen's clutches and is unable to free himself. Various other characters both help and hinder our two young children, some scary, some beautiful, but all memorable.
This is an epic journey to save a loved one. It is full of magic, Faith, myth, friend, foe, and trust. It is the story of two children growing up but not growing apart.
The tale is simple, yet beautiful and interesting to read. This was of course translated and I feel it is one of the better ones I've read. The illustrations make this version, I think. They are wonderfully detailed. One seems to feel the bite of the ice, the heat and pungent odor of the robber's den, the lovely aroma of the flower beds. The drawings allow you to see this story in a way that is hard to with just the text.
Very little to say. This is not my favorite Anderson story, but it is a good one and one I think people should read. His stories really are timeless.
If you want to read The Snow Queen, I would suggest this copy. It is a wonderful version, easy to read and well presented by the illustrations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Note: Cover of my copy, illustrated by Sally Holmes.