Hans Christian Andersen
The Journey of His Life
“If you like, I’ll tell you the story of a boy who learned to fly.”
Through an enchanted conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn coach, Hans Christian Andersen shares his life’s struggles, dreams, and triumphs—whose threads can be found woven into his greatest stories. He tells her about the “fairy tale of his life” and how the son of a shoemaker became a celebrated writer.
Heinz Janisch paints a sensitive portrait of Andersen and his literary work. Maja Kastelic has developed a well-suited illustration concept for this story that combines sumptuous art of a picture book with elements of a graphic novel. Thus, for the first time, H. C. Andersen’s life and work become a fascinating collage in picture book form.
A moving, inventive story about the life of Hans Christian Andersen.
In this smoothly translated blend of biography and storytelling, Janisch uses Andersen’s own metaphor: The Danish writer called his memoir The Fairy Tale of My Life...“A very special fairy story,” indeed.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
This lovely book should be savored.
Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, School Library Journal, Starred Review
Aside from the stories themselves, this lyrical outing offers younger audiences the best insight into Andersen’s life and gifts since Jane Yolen’s The Perfect Wizard (2005).
John Peters, Booklist
There’s something truly magical happening in Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life. It’s not just the context, although there’s plenty of magic to be found there. It’s in everything, really: the story, the illustrations, the colors, the compositions. If there’s a perfect picture book, in my opinion, I’d say this gets damn close to being it.
John Herzog, OnlyPictureBooks.com
In her art, Kastelic melds the text layers, shifting among soft watercolors of the coach ride, sepia-toned memories of Andersen’s childhood, and vividly hued compositions recalling vintage fairy tale illustration for references to Andersen’s stories.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
For those who want a short tour through Andersen’s life, they can have it with this illustrated picture book detailing the struggles, dreams and triumphs of the inimitable storyteller. Inspiring for children and adults alike.
The tone is gentle, the language often poetic. “It’s you, isn’t it?” asks the child, and the gentleman—Hans Christian Andersen—confirms her suspicion. Throughout, the illustrations not only pace the story, with panels, half- and full-page art, and double-page spreads, but also indicate shifts in time and content.
The Horn Book
Hans Christian Andersen has long been considered a treasure in the world of children's literature. His stories are classics and the most prestigious award in the world for children's books is named in his honor. So, a biography of the beloved creator seems a wonderful pick-me-up during these difficult times. Maja Kastelic created a lovely tribute to the storyteller
Elizabeth Dulemba, Dulemba.com
- INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist, 2020