Retold by Sarah Lowes, this is a superbly illustrated version of Hans Christian Andersen's tale of good and evil.
'In the poorest part of a large town, a boy and a girl called Kay and Gerda lived opposite each other with their families...' Whilst gazing from his bedroom window one snowy night, two splinters of magic mirror hit Kay- 'one entered his eye and the other, his heart.'
Kay changes, becoming hard-hearted and cruel. One evening, he meets the Snow Queen and is whisked away on her sleigh, forgetting those he has left behind...including Gerda.
And so Gerda sets out on a quest to find and save her friend.
The story is beautifully re-told, using rich vocabulary and maintaining a story-telling style. Coupled with the fabulous pictures, the book is a real treasure which children (and adults) will wish to linger over and enjoy again and again.
Miss Clara's unique style of illustration causes a huge amount of discussion- each picture stimulating questions from simple leaves blowing across pages to Gerda on the bridge to the Snow Queen stealing Kay away through the snow.
'The Snow Queen' can be approached in many different ways and be used as inspiration for plenty of reading, writing, acting, artwork, making puppets, comparisons with other versions...but, for me, this version is best simply shared and enjoyed!
The Snow Queen Re-told by Sarah Lowes Illustrated by Miss Clara
(Story CD by Xanthe Gresham)
Barefoot Books ISBN: 978-1846869631