Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina retold by Martin Powell & illustrated by Sarah Horne

Gerta has always wanted a child. One day she finds a little girl in the petals of a magical flower - Thumbelina. The girl's tiny size puts her in harms way and soon she is lost in the forest.

Thumbelina is a fairy tale that is a bit lesser known to me so I was excited to take a peek at it. The book starts off with a cast of characters, giving you your first hint at the beautiful illustrations to come. They are very quirky and colorful, just what I like! The illustrations range from tiny details to almost scribbles.

The story follows Thumbelina's journey back to her mother Gerta after she is plucked from her home while sleeping but a toad! She meets a variety of other animals in the forest including a mouse, mole and song bird.

Stylistically this is a great graphic novel and I only wish it had been longer. Definitely makes me want to search out illustrator, Sarah Horne's work.

Like The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina comes with a glossary, about the author, about the retelling author and illustrator, discussion questions, and writing prompts. It's laid on in an easy to follow format with a reading level of 2.4 or guiding reading level of L.

Thumbelina was released on August 31st
Genre: Children's Graphic Novel
4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher


  1. This would be a perfect choice for Z. I really like classic stories retold with bright and modern illustration. There's nothing worse than a fairy tale with dreary old watercolor artwork.

  2. Boy, do I feel old. I have very fond memories of Danny Kaye singing Thumbelina - look for it on YouTube - we had the record and I listened to it all the time. The cover of that book is gorgeous.

  3. Many thanks for the great review! I loved writing this beautiful book.

    Hopefully, Sarah and I will work together again in the near future.

    Happy Holidays!

    Martin Powell

  4. I've never actually read Thumbelina or any re-telling of the story before. I loved the Don Bluth movie as a kid though!


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