One of the book treasures on my shelf is an old volume of the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. It is another well-loved book, worn and fraying at the corners of the cloth cover. I read those stories over and over again as I was growing up. And I have a vague and very nostalgic recollection of an old movie musical about him, starring my favorite, Danny Kaye. Today is Andersen’s birthday, which is also celebrated around the world as “International Children’s Book Day.” He was born in Denmark 203 years ago. I celebrated by reading Jane Yolen’s lovely little biography of him, The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen, and also by rereading my favorite fairy tales from that most treasured book.
So which tales were my favorites from that old volume? I loved The Tinder Box, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl, and The Nightingale. It seems very fitting, while I’m enjoying reading so many different stories and tales for Carl V’s Once Upon a Time 2 reading challenge, that I celebrate and read about one of the beloved masters of storytelling: Hans Christian Andersen!