This ‘Snow Queen’ is a version for younger children of Andersen’s well-known story. It focuses on the close friendship between Gerda and Kay and provides a shortened and simplified version of Gerda’s journey to find Kay when he mysteriously vanishes. Helped by a reindeer, as in the original, she journeys to the Snow Queen’s palace where she finds Kay. Her tears melt his frozen heart, and their escape defeats the Queen who vanishes with her icy palace.
The language is simple and well-suited to reading aloud. The pictures largely echo the text rather than add to it. They have a charm that suits the period feel of the story and its Nordic setting, and the uncluttered pages and the use of varied perspectives give a feeling of space and open landscapes. The children are round and childlike, but the Snow Queen has a Disney look about her, perhaps in an attempt to render her less scary for young readers.
A good introduction to the story, and hopefully a lead into the original when its readers are a bit older.