Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review - Brave Thumbelina

Brave Thumbelina
by An Leysen
Date: 2018
Publisher: Clavis Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 29
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

An Leysen's breathtaking and magical retelling of the classic fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen!

Once upon a time, there was a woman who desperately wanted a child. One day, a good witch passed her house and gave her a flower seed. The woman planted the seed and took good care of it. Before long, two little eyes curiously stared at her between the petals. Inside the flower was a tiny girl! The woman named her Thumbelina. It soon became clear that Thumbelina was a very brave little girl.

In this magical picture book, An Leysen retells the classic fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. For children ages 5 and up and anyone who loves enchanting fairy tales.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's story just didn't work for me. I'm not sure if the original would work for me, either, since it seems to be a very dated, sexist story. Every male in the book wants to own or marry Thumbelina (which is creepier still because she's portrayed as a little girl).

We're told her mother was very "kind" to her, but she kept her daughter in a box with a lid (and no air holes that I could see). Her mother wasn't the brightest bulb, though, as she complained about not being able to have children. As far as I could tell, she was a single woman, so it wasn't any wonder she wasn't getting pregnant! (Somebody neglected to have "the talk" with her, I guess.)

It's too bad this particular story was chosen for a retelling, because the illustrations are really pretty. They're probably the only thing I liked about this book. I don't think I'd give it to a child, simply because of the problematic messages of women as property and needing to be saved by a man.

Quotable moment:

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment