TITLE: The Fir Tree
AUTHOR: HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
ILLUSTRATOR: SANNA ANNUKKA
PUBLISHING: TEN SPEED PRESS
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 4TH 2016 (ORIGINALLY IN 1844)
GENRE(S): CLASSICS, CHILDRENS, FANTASY, FAIRYTALES, Christmas
STAR RATING: 4 ∗∗∗∗
“MOVIE” RATING: G
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.