The Little Mermaid

by Hans Christian Andersen

Hardcover, 1994



Local notes

398.2 And



Henry Holth & Co (J) (1994), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 48 pages


A little sea princess, longing to be human, trades her mermaid's tail for legs, hoping to win the love of a prince and earn an immortal soul for herself.

Physical description

48 p.; 8 x 0.75 inches


0805010106 / 9780805010107



User reviews

LibraryThing member aliptak
Genre: Fairytale - This book is a good example of a fairytale because it is a story that has been passed down and made into several different versions or reworked by serveral different authors. It is a classic story with traditional literature and modern fantasy. The story has major conflict and then resolution which is a very odd ending. It also includes imaginary characters, which are mermaids. I would never read this version of the Little Mermaid to any age of children, it is disturbing, I might consider reading the Disney version.

Plot: The plot of this story is about a little mermaid who goes up to land and wants to stay there, so she goes to a witch and she gives her feet. The little mermaid goes up and tries to make this prince love her, in the end the prince falls in love with someone else and ends up killing herself where she becomes a daughter of the air. This plot was kind of disturbing, I have heard another version of the Little Mermaid and I really liked it, but not this one. It is weird and scary and just does not make sense, I would never read this to any children.

Art Media: Watercolor and pen
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The Little Mermaid, illustrated by Michael Hague.

Although many contemporary readers, particularly those influenced by the rather unfortunate animated Disney film adaptation, interpret The Little Mermaid as a story of true love (requited or not, depending upon whether one reads the original), other observers have pointed to the rather heavy-handed moralizing, and the religious ending (added later by Andersen), as evidence that this is actually a tale about the search for salvation.

I imagine that Michael Hague's retelling, which retains that moralistic ending, would appeal to the latter group, although it's difficult to say just why. After all, the edition illustrated by Lizbeth Zwerger also features a scrupulous translation, and somehow didn't create the same impression. Perhaps, because Hague's illustrations were so heavy and dark - using a color scheme I found garishly incongruent in the depiction of an underwater world - I interpreted the text as being "heavy" as well?

In any case, I don't think I've ever seen artwork so ill-suited to the tale it accompanies, with yellows, oranges and browns predominating. I did not find the results appealing at all...
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(7 ratings; 3.6)
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