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The Wild Swans

Press:Barefoot Books Barefoot Books; Bct edition (March 1, 2005)
Author Name:Andersen, Hans Christian/ Lewis, Naomi/ Gilbert, Anne Yvonne (ILT)


An updated version of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, The Wild Swans is the soulful story of a young girl searching for her lost brothers. 
Upon discovering they have been turned into swans, she sets off on a difficult journey, enduring many hardships in the quest to return her brothers to their human form.

From Booklist

Emblazoned with a gold seal marked "bicentennial edition," a reminder of the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth on April 2, 2005, this picture book presents his version of the folktale "The Wild Swans." After a king remarries unwisely, his new wife sends his little daughter, Elisa, to live among the peasants and transforms his 11 sons into swans, who fly away.
When Elisa turns 15, she begins a quest to find her brothers and learns that she can free them from the wicked queen's spell by making them shirts from stinging nettles while keeping a vow of silence.
Weaving its own benevolent spell through Lewis' fluid translation, the tale is a good choice for reading aloud.
Gilbert's detailed, colored-pencil illustrations use fine stokes of color to create detailed scenes that many young princess-story fans will find beguiling.
A graceful, dramatic version of a classic.
Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved


Society of School Librarians International Honor Book Award, 2005 --Society of School Librarians

Language Notes

Text: English, Danish (translation)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susan Jeffers is a Caldecott Honor and Abby Award recipient and a New York Times bestselling author. 
She lives in New York State.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,Anthologies,Growing Up & Facts of Life

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Comment List (Total:17)

  •     I nostalgicly love Golden Books, but the 5 stars is from my wife. She loves this adaptation and likes Gordon Laite's illustrations. It is a classic fairy tale so there is no need to review the story -- you know it is good. The Golden Book is well constructed, a wonderful plus in this age of cheap production and mass consumption. A perfect addition to your child's library, or your own.~ Kort

  •     Was my favorite as a child I love it

  •     classic, elegant pictures and story is shortened nicely

  •     The Wild Swans (Little Golden Books) by Hans Christian Andersen has great illustrations. the story was longer than I expected for my 4 year niece, but it did keep her interest,...

  •     Very good!

  •     When I saw that the Susan Jeffries illustrated version of this story was still around, I had to pick it up for my daughter. Well, she has yet to see it because I immediately read it cover to cover before hiding it on her bookshelf for safe keeping. The illustrations are so beautiful and the story is told in an accessible way for children (because let's be honest, these fairy-tales in their original forms are pretty horrifying!). Highly recommended for any young girl.

  •     I love this story, and I LOVE Gordon Laite's artwork! I hope Little Golden Books releases reproductions of more books featuring his work (and more vintage reproductions in...

  •     Good story.

  •     Gorgeous book. I collect books illustrated by Gordon Laite, a fantastic illustrator! This one just published now after decades. What a treat! Ranks up therewith Mr.

  •     Mostly traditional telling of this story. I am not that familiar with this illustrator but loved the art.

  •     This is one of my favorite tales by HCA. I bought this for my daughter and she loves it too. The illustrations are gorgeous, even better in person than online. Highly recommended, especially if you enjoy tales where the princess is the heroine!In this tale, a princess needs to save her brothers from an evil spell. She faces great adversity but she is undeterred! Determined to free her brothers she fights against the odds until they are saved. A very happy ending for all.

  •     Story is incomplete and butchered. I was excited to find it but way too many details are skipped or greatly changed. This is not the original story. What a disappointment.

  •     Even without the illustrations, this story is still very beautiful but Marcia Brown's accompanying imagery heightens the mystifying nature of this tale with her wispy lines as if they conveyed seaside breezes. I was rather surprised with how big the book was but it was all the more wonderful and will be a great treasure to pass down for many generations.

  •     This was my favorite childhood book and my husband bought it for me as a surprise birthday present this year. However, I was dismayed to find that the pages which most intrigued and stimulated my imagination as a young child were utterly and completely whitewashed: the part of the story where Elise must gather the nettles from the graves in the churchyard despite being terrified of the ghouls and creatures that watch and taunt her there. That artwork was stunning, and not at all inappropriate for kids. I can't understand why it's been censored. I returned the book and bought a used older version on ebay. If you'd like to see the images in question, you can easily search for and see them on the web.

  •     This was my favorite illustrated book when I was a child. I had actually been searching for this exact version for over 10 years (as it is an adaption of a Hans Christian Andersen story there are several versions and I couldn't remember that the illustrations were by Juan Diaz-Toledo). The book contains absolutely beautiful illustrations and although the story is slightly weird (like most Andersen tales)- it is still a lovely book.The book was also in pristine condition. So I was very pleased.

  •     I bought this book for my daughter while at Capezio getting her new dance outfits. I did not know anything about the book, but loved the artwork inside. The first time I read it, I was amazed at what a beautiful and creative story it was. And it did keep my 4 year old's attention. We would look at the art work after reading each page and talked about it. It is my favorite story, a bit long, but whenever she picks it out for me to read at night I can never say no... no matter how late it is. I highly recommend the reading at any age, the artwork alone can ignite the imagination!

  •     I love this fairy tale, which isn't as common as some others. The illustrations by Gordon Laite are wonderful. He's not remembered as well as he should be.


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