The Swineherd

Hans Christian Andersen, Author, Deborah Hahn, Illustrator Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-10052-0
It's probably the pinnacle of cheek to revise the works of a master like Andersen, but author/artist Hahn takes the gamble and wins. In her version, ``Hans'' narrates while a motley assortment of players (children, pigs and pets)--captured in sprightly, delicately colored drawings--act out the classic fairy tale. Their often humorous running commentary provides a visual counterpoint to the familiar story of the rejected prince who disguises himself as a swineherd and ultimately dumps a fickle princess. Here, however, the tale's ending causes a commotion, and after tears and a heated debate the characters submit a rewrite--``with all due respect, Hans.'' The final few pages picture a repentant swineherd/prince giving the humbled princess a second chance, vindicating any reader who has ever been unhappy with a book's original ending. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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