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The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen…
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The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen (2005)

by Jane Yolen

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Bibliographic picture-book that describes Hans' childhood and life. Story tells how words and his imagination inspired Hans. Not a surgery sweet version as this text tells of Hans' awkwardness, grandiose opinion of himself and his the burning passion to become a famous against all odds. Illustrated by Dennis Nolan with excepts from Anderson's tales at the bottom of every page.

Grades:1-6

Classroom use: Fairy Tales, Story Structure
  GEMaguire | Jul 26, 2016 |
This non-fiction biography about Hans Christian Andersen. It was written like a story. I loved the flow of it and actually got swept away by Hans’ life. He is an inspiration to all authors. He never gave up and persevered over time.

He efforts were not in vain. Most people have at least heard of him. He started off and actor and then got an education. He wrote several books and plays. I have read a few and find them quite good.

The story takes you from his birth all the way to the end of the line for Hans. I had a strong connection to him, being a writer myself and found his struggles relatable.

Though this book was written in mind for children, I think that it would be a wonderful book for anyone to read. As far as authors go, it should be on their required reading list. I will not be forgetting this book anytime soon.
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  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
Everything Jane Yolen pens is magical and well written. Thus book is no exception. I knew very little of Hans Christian Andersen. In lyrical style, using passages from his own stories, Yolen notes his early life, born 1805 in Denmark to a poor family. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a washerwoman.

With a history of mental illness -- his grandfather was quite mad --, it is logical that when Hans was lanky, ugly and acted rather strangely, he also was thought to be "crazy." From the beginning of his life, he wove tales, some of which were quite happy. Making puppets and clothes for them, he had them mimic the story flowing from his mind.

While Hans thought he was telling stories, others thought he was quite a liar. He had no friends in school and the legacy of his grandfather's illness followed him wherever he went.

His father died when Hans was eleven, leaving the family destitute. Longing to be an actor, Once again, his unconventional actions brought scorn. He continued to write and paid to have his first book printed. It was not successful. But, his luck changed when he once again went to the Royal Theater and was accepted. He was gangly, ugly and unkempt, but the directors game him a chance.

Eventually, he went to University, and was successful in having one of his plays performed. At the age of 30, he began to write fairytales:

Dying at the age of 70, his fairy tales were well known and quite successful.
  Whisper1 | Jan 25, 2016 |
I enjoyed listening to this short audiobook of Hans Christian Andersen's life. I realized I knew little about his life beyond writing the fairy tales. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525469559, Hardcover)

He was the son of a cobbler-awkward, funny-looking, and perhaps a bit crazy. But Hans Christian Andersen went on to become the most beloved children's writer of all time. Here in rich detail that includes quotes from Andersen's own stories, Jane Yolen explores his youth and how his words were inspired by life experiences. His was a childhood that saw the death of his father, an early love for the theater, and the burning passion to become a writer against all odds.

Lushly illustrated by Dennis Nolan, The Perfect Wizard is the ideal selec- tion to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Andersen's birth on April 2, 2005.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:04 -0400)

A biography of the famous Danish writer of fairy tales, interspersed with excerpts from his stories.

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