The Fir Tree Review

the-fir-tree

TITLE: The Fir Tree

AUTHOR: HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

ILLUSTRATOR: SANNA ANNUKKA

ISBN: 9780399578489

PUBLISHING: TEN SPEED PRESS

RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 4TH 2016 (ORIGINALLY IN 1844)

PAGES: 48

GENRE(S): CLASSICS, CHILDRENS, FANTASY, FAIRYTALES, Christmas

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SYNOPSIS:

MY RATING:

STAR RATING: 4 ∗∗∗∗
“MOVIE” RATING: G

MY REVIEW:

Once again I was super excited to read this original fairytale story by Hans Christian Andersen of The Fir Tree. And was also struck by the fun and beautiful illustrations that the illustrator, Sanna Annukka, placed in this beloved classic fairytale. This was quite a quick read (it’s only about 50 pages; half of them being illustrations) but I also read this aloud to my husband again. Something about reading stories out loud brings much more magic and life into stories. Just like when you hear storytellers spinning their tales for others to listen and hear.

I was taken aback by reading some of the reviews previous to reading this fairytale because so many people talked about how dark it was and they disliked reading Andersen’s fairytales. This is only my second tale that I’ve read of his so I’m not biased about his writing quite yet but I thought that there was such an important message inside! As the synopsis mentions, this is a story of “greed and dissatisfaction” though it is easy to miss because of the knowledge that this is a children’s fairytale. There are many other stories that do not have happy endings but miss an important them or message within but this story nailed it on the head.

The Fir Tree most certainly is not a dark story, rather a cautionary tale for all, young or old. Living with constant lack of gratitude, love, and happiness can ruin life and Andersen does a splendid job in making this such a simple and relatable story for everyone. I didn’t want to overlook the real story here and I wouldn’t want whoever wanted to read this to be misguided by the point of this tale. It is SO simple with such a simple plot and story, but just as important.

My only regret is that there is only two (that I can find) of these illustrated editions of Sanna Annukka, but I hope to read more of Hans Christian Andersen soon and learn more about such basic principles of living a full life.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT SANNA ANNUKKA:

Sanna Annukka was born in Brighton UK to a Finnish mother and a British father.
She spent many childhood summers in her mother’s home village of Paltaniemi in Northern Finland and together with her aunts and uncles they would head into Lapland to camp in the wilderness, pick berries and fish for wild salmon. Having spent some time living with her grandmother in her old wooden house, and helping on the family farm, Finland became Sanna’s spiritual home.
Her love of the Finnish landscape and culture of the north was shaped by these early experiences, and her work draws on the magical quality of this special, wild part of the world.

Currently Sanna lives in Brighton, England working as a Printmaker and Textile Designer.
Her work expresses her love of pattern, decoration and mythology so often found in traditional cultures all over the world, but especially close to her heart are the Sami people of Lapland. She divides her time between designing collections for the Finnish textile brand Marimekko, and working on her own range of silk screen prints and other products.

ABOUT HAN ANDERSEN:

Hans Christian Andersen (1805—75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker, who nonetheless was a great reader, made a toy-theatre for his son and taught him to notice every natural wonder as they walked in the woods together on Sundays. His father died when he was eleven, and it wasn’t until six years later that, with the help of a patron, he finally went to a state secondary school attended by much youger children. There he suffered at the hands of a cruel headmaster, but he aquired an education and was determined to be a writer. He published his first novel and his first fairy tales in 1835; thereafter he wrote over 150 more of these stories which have become classics in many languages.A lonely man who never married, he was also an anxious man; he loved travelling, but would carry a coil of rope with him in case of fire in his hotel. Although he originally addressed his fairy tales to children (and some would maintain he had a streak of childhood in his nature) he insisted they were ‘for all ages’, and the gentleness and humor that are their characteristics are recognized by everyone.

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