Cover image for Thumbelina
Pinkney, J. Brian.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 28 cm
A tiny girl no bigger than a thumb is stolen by a great ugly toad and subsequently has many adventures and makes many animal friends, before finding the perfect mate in a warm and beautiful southern land.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 72750.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
East Aurora Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Eggertsville-Snyder Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Niagara Branch Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Anna M. Reinstein Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Audubon Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
East Delavan Branch Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Dudley Branch Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Riverside Branch Library PZ8.P573 TH 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



is no bigger
than your thumb!

Thumbelina is content to spend her days rowing in a boat made from a tulip petal and sleeping in a cradle made from a polished walnut shell. Then one horrible night a toad kidnaps her, and she is tossed from one wretched adventure to another.

Will Thumbelina be forced to marry the toad's son or spend her days deep underground with a rich mole? Only her steadfast kindness and bravery and the help of some loyal friends will lead Thumbelina to true love.

Two-time Caldecott Honor artist Brian Pinkney's adaptation of the classic tale vividly captures the dramatic journey and quiet strength of Hans Christian Andersen's tiny heroine.

Author Notes

Hans Christian Andersen, one of the best known figures in literature, is best know for combining traditional folk tales with his own great imagination to produce fairy tales known to most children today. The Danish writer was born in the slums of Odense. Although he was raised in poverty, he eventually attended Copenhagen University.

Although Andersen wrote poems, plays and books, he is best known for his Fairy Tales and Other Stories, written between 1835 and 1872. This work includes such famous tales as The Emperor's New Clothes, Little Ugly Duckling, The Tinderbox, Little Claus and Big Claus, Princess and the Pea, The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Story of a Mother and The Swineherd.

Andersen's greatest work is still influential today, helping mold some of the works of writers ranging from Charles Dickens to Oscar Wilde and inspiring many of the works of Disney and other motion pictures.

Andersen, who traveled greatly during his life, died in his home in Rolighed on August 4, 1875.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Andersen's Thumbelina receives a fresh retelling from Demi in a colorful volume that features flowing two-page spreads with larger objects than the diminutive ones she usually provides. Born in a flower to a woman longing for a tiny child, Thumbelina is stolen by a toad to be the wife of her son. Saved from this fate by a school of red-and-orange fishes, Thumbelina is then captured by an insect, who abandons her in the forest to fend for herself. Nearly frozen, she finds sanctuary in the home of a field mouse, who demands she marry his friend, the mole; once more a savior appears, this time in the form of a swallow she had earlier nursed back to health. He takes her to a warm place where the King of the Flowers, her true love, asks her to be his bride. Throughout, lush large flowers, giant lacy snowflakes, and boldly executed animals make a visually interesting counterpoint to the dainty Thumbelina. Though sometimes overly bright, the colors will undoubtedly attract children to this vividly told tale. -- Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this spare and lilting unabridged translation of the classic tale, the tiny girl's pleasant life is interrupted when she is stolen in sleep by an ugly matron-toad who seeks a wife for her son. A series of misadventures with goliath-like creatures‘whether a cruel may-bug or a compassionate field mouse‘leaves the beautiful Thumbelina feeling like a misfit. But her kindness in saving a swallow's life is returned when the bird flies her south to its enchanted garden. Here, Thumbelina finally meets her prince and discovers she is home. Graston, in a stunning debut, uses a light-shifting background of subtly tinted tiles as a backdrop to the range of miniature delights (a walnut-shell bed with rose-petal linens, a butterfly-powered sail on a lily pad) and darker emotions (loneliness and feeling out of place). The artwork varies from the silken and jewel-like (flowers and butterfly wings) to the earthy and somber (the cultured mole's underground home, the ailing swallow's feathered chest). The finale grounds the heady sentiment of the fairy-tale ending: the swallow perches on the venerable storyteller's fingers as it relates the tale to Andersen. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3 Andersen's tale of a tiny lass no bigger than one's thumb is familiar to most children, and there is nothing particularly new in this version. The translation differs very little from other editions (notably Michael Hague's Favorite Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales Holt, 1981) but at times seems flat and static. This is a longer, fuller version than is often found; there may not be enough illustrations to hold the interest of younger listeners. The pictures themselves owe their dreamlike quality to a subdued wash background, and the characters, the humans in particular, with their withered-apple faces, are drolly portrayed. There are occasional delightfully surprising details, such as a cat peering out of the old witch's cloak. Useful for libraries which need to broaden a folk tale collection or where another edition of this story is needed. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



"There once was a woman who wished for a child, but was unable to have one. So she sought help from a kind fairy. 'Take this magic seed,' said the fairy. 'Plant it in a flower-pot, and see what will happen.' 'Thank you,' the woman replied, and she went right home and planted the seed. Soon it sprouted and grew a beautiful bud. 'How lovely!' she exclaimed, giving its petals an impulsive kiss. POOF! The bud blossomed. In the middle of the flower sat a girl as pretty and delicate as the petals and no bigger than the woman's thumb. The woman couldn't believe her eyes. 'I shall call you Thumbelina,' she said joyfully." Excerpted from Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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