The Tinderbox was illustrated by master artist Vladyslav Yerko, whose work has been recognized with many awards and has won a number of prestigious exhibitions. Yerko's breathtaking illustrations are expressive and intricate. This book's large format gives you the opportunity to enjoy his exquisite detail, his touching lyricism, and his sense of humor over and over again. Long before the publication of the book, international art collectors had already purchased its original artwork.
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Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, on April 2, 1805. Andersen achieved worldwide fame for writing innovative and influential fairy tales. Many of his stories, including "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess and the Pea," remain classics of the genre. He died in Copenhagen on August 4, 1875. Andersen’s work first gained recognition in 1829, with the publication of a short story entitled "A Journey on Foot from Holmen’s Canal to the East Point of Amager." The promising young author won a grant from the king, allowing him to travel across Europe and further develop his body of work. In 1835, Andersen began producing fairy tales. In 1845, English translations of Andersen’s folktales and stories began to gain the attention of foreign audiences. Andersen forged a friendship with acclaimed British novelist Charles Dickens, whom he visited in England in 1847 and again a decade later. His stories became English-language classics and had a strong influence on subsequent British children’s authors, including A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter. Over time, Scandinavian audiences discovered Andersen’s stories, as did audiences in the United States, Asia and across the globe. In 2006, an amusement park based on his work opened in Shanghai. His stories have been adapted for stage and screen, including a popular animated version of "The Little Mermaid."
Vladyslav Yerko is an acclaimed master in Ukrainian graphic arts.Yerko, a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine, was born in Kyiv. He studied in the Faculty of Book Graphics at the Ivan Fedorov Polygraphic Institute in Kyiv from 1984 to 1990. He worked in film poster design. In 1987 he received the 2nd Award in the Moscow International Poster Competition. He is a laureate of the Lesia Ukrayinka Award. In 1989 he started working in book graphics and illustrated the works of H. C. Andersen, W. Shakespeare, E.T.A. Hoffman, J. Swift, Lewiss Carroll, Paulo Coelho, Richard Bach etc.Nowadays Vladyslav Yerko is the leading Ukrainian maestro of book graphics, the winner of numerous prestigious art and book exhibitions, the holder of the title "Man of Book" as the best artist of 2002 according to the Moscow’s "Book Review." His illustrations to the books "Snow Queen", The Tinderbox, "Child Roland and Other Knight’s Tales", "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark", "Alice in Wonderland", "Gulliver’s Travels" etc won the general recognition. Here is how Paulo Coelho responded on Yerko’s "Snow Queen": "It is the most amazing children’s book that I have ever seen in my life." The rights to Yerko’s books have been acquired by publishers in 15 countries all over the world―from the UK to South Korea and Australia. "The Tales of the Foggy Albion", illustrated by Yerko, won Ukraine’s "Book of the Year" award for 2003.
Gr 3 Up-One of Andersen's earliest fairy tales, "The Tinderbox" is considered a classic of the genre. But unlike in his other tales, this hero is self-absorbed and greedy. First published in 1835, the story begins with a soldier returning home from war, his knapsack on his back and a sword at his side. As he walks, he meets an ugly old witch. She asks him to climb into a hollow tree to retrieve a magic tinderbox and gives the soldier permission to take anything he finds inside the tree, but he must return the tinderbox. In the tree, he comes across three chambers filled with copper, silver, and gold coins guarded by three monstrous dogs. He fills his pockets and knapsack and returns to the witch. When she demands the tinderbox, the soldier draws his sword, "and that [is] the end of the witch." The soldier becomes rich and extravagant. He learns the secret of the tinderbox. When he strikes the flint, the three monstrous dogs appear, ready to grant him any wish. In true fairy-tale style, he also goes on to discover a princess in a locked tower and has one of the dogs kidnap her. He falls in love with her, but her royal parents have him arrested, put in prison, and sentenced to death. On the day of execution, the soldier sends a boy for his tinderbox, and, at the scaffold, asks to have a last smoke. When he strikes the match, the dogs appear, fall on the judges and council members, and "toss...them high into the air, so high that they [break] into pieces." The soldier and the princess are united, and the dogs join the wedding feast. Yerko's pencil and watercolor artwork is expressive and intricate. The book's oversize format gives readers the opportunity to enjoy his exquisite detail. Inset illustrations and incidental art as well as full-page pictures are interspersed throughout to create a clever design that perfectly complements this somewhat mysterious and curious folktale. VERDICT Perhaps not a first choice when sharing Andersen's work, especially with the younger crowd, but this book would be a beautiful addition to any comprehensive fairy-tale collection.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
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