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The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian…

The Little Match Girl

by Hans Christian Andersen, Anastassija Archipowa (Illustrator), Bernadette Watts (Illustrator)

Other authors: Christine San José (Narrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7742017,078 (3.95)5



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A poor little girl wanders around at night with no shoes or hat selling matches. She is hungry and miserable. No one buys matches from her. As she lights matches to keep her warm, she imagines holiday scenes of warm fireplaces, presents, and decadent feasts -- but only until the match goes out. When she lights one match, she imagines her grandmother, and cannot bear the thought of her going away when the match goes out. She lights the whole lot of matches to keep her grandmother from fading away. She floats away in a halo of light that new years eve with her grandmother and enters a place where they are reunited. ( )
  JessicaGammie | Nov 12, 2017 |
An extremely beautiful sad book with great illustrations, the book is definitely for younger ages. ( )
  hermione8665 | Feb 17, 2017 |
In this tale, a little girl who sells matches is left outside in the cold winter. To keep herself warm, she lights one of her matches. However, overtime she lights a match images of warmth and comfort appear. Finally, when the last bundle of matches are struck, the little girl's deceased grandmother appears to take the little girl away from the the cold winter and up to heaven.
Though tragically, sad, this book is an excellent example of a folk/fairy tale because it helps children understand the concept of death, which is something that is often scary or foreign to children. Additionally, this tale comes from Hans Christian Andersen's collection of fairy tales and has no known author
1. If there are any students in a given classroom that are struggling to understand the idea of death, or if a class ever seems troubled by the concept of it, this would be a good fairy tale to read because it attempts to provide an explanation for the death of the little girl.
2. Another place I would apply this text in a classroom would be during a lesson on kindness. After reading the story to the class, I would ask students about the people in the town and how the story might have ended if they had shown kindness. This discussion would ideally lead to the conclusion that it is important to show kindness to everybody.
Age Appropriateness: primary, intermediate, middle school, high school
Media: watercolor and pen ( )
  rstewart15 | Feb 12, 2017 |
Summary: This short story (fairy tale) is just three decades short of it's bicentennial. Written by Hans Christian Anderson, it is about a child's hopes and dreams as she struggles to sell matches for her impoverished family, amidst the wealthier townspeople who ignore her pleas to purchase them, so her father might be happy upon her return, or at least not punish her.

Personal Reactions: I very distinctly remember reading this as an elementary student, alone, after browsing and choosing it from the library. I also remember loving the artwork and the pictures of the grandmother. However, I also remember being shocked and completely shaken when I realized the girl succumbs to the elements. I remember turning the pages back and forth and thinking, "...wait a minute......she DIES? The girl DIES? She can't die! Kids don't just die. Who would let a girl freeze to death? Why didn't her mommy and daddy come get her?" I never read it again. (Until this week)

Classroom Extensions: It's hard to say how I'd read this to a class of kindergartners. Perhaps if I had an older class of 4th or 5th grade, and we were going to study Hans Christian Anderson in-depth and his literary style, as well as the writing style of the day, I could easily see it. But, I think I might horrify the students in my class just as I was 48 years ago, I am afraid. But, a young child, freezing to death, alone on the streets, in possession of MATCHES, seems to not be reading material I can build a good lesson plan around, .....yet. Still working on it!

Classroom Extensions: The only thing that's coming to mind is having a Fire Chief visit and talk about never play with matches! Honestly. That's all I got!
  Dowrox | Jul 10, 2016 |
Someone at book share suggested this as a holiday book. Ack. Both O and I were crushed by the ending and agreed we won't be reading it again this holiday. For sure more grim fairytale than holiday story. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andersen, Hans Christianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Archipowa, AnastassijaIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Watts, BernadetteIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gilmore, Stanley F.Illustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henrichsen, Toril MaröIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isadora, RachelIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
San José, ChristineNarratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alex, MarleeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399213368, Hardcover)

Andersen's poignant Christmastime classic is brought to life by the radiantlybeautiful paintings of Caldecott Honor Book artist Rachel Isadora. Full-colorillustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The wares of the poor little match girl illuminate her cold world, bringing some beauty to her brief, tragic life.

» see all 5 descriptions

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