Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor

A while ago I was thinking about the story of Thumbelina, and how it always bothered me that she escapes two marriages only to become a bride at the end of the story.

Then I happened upon Barbara Ensor's Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride. Well OF COURSE I had to check it out.

It's a pretty faithful retelling of the story, with some wonderful details, like Thumbelina writing in her diary, and then writing in it again in larger letters so her mother can read it. Her extremely protective mother, whom Thumbelina loves but would like to perhaps get a break from once in a while. Understandably--after all, mother IS reading her diary!

The adventure begins when her mother agrees to let her sleep outside one warm night in early spring, and as we all surely recall, that's when she's kidnapped by a mother frog to be a bride for Frog Jr. Ensor does a nice job of putting us in Thumbelina's head. This particular Thumbelina is resourceful and full of moxie and spirit.

Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride

The book is a quick read, full of black paper cutouts to illustrate the story--with an interesting note in the back about Hans Christian Anderson and how he used to make illustrations in the same way.

Thumbelina and Ms. Mouse

Ensor's additions are inventive and bring the story up to date for a modern audience. If you like the original story, but were perhaps unsatisfied with the matrimonial ending, definitely don't let this runaway bride get away from you!

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