Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) was a Danish fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are popular with children and adults all over the world, and they also contain autobiographical details of the man himself. "The Fir Tree" by Hans Christian Andersen, published originally in 1845, follows the life of a young fir tree living in the woods. Compared to the other trees around him, he feels small, spindly and short, and he constantly utters complaint to any and all woodland creatures within ear shot. Most pointedly, he wonders "when will he truly be alive?" When he sees humans cut down some beautiful trees nearby and then drag them across the snow, he asks the swallows, "Where are they going?" In answer they tell him of all Christmas's splendor and beauty of which those lucky trees will soon be a part. Yet when the time comes for our little fir tree to have his turn, he's taught an unexpected and irreversible lesson. This children's e-book is fully illustrated all-color. Young readers will love the charming all-color illustrations, while parents will appreciate the moral at the end of the story. The beautiful illustrations will captivate your child's imagination and bring them back to read it over again and again.
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Virginia Andersen (Coronado, CA) is a freelance author and writer who has written or contributed to nearly 25 books about PC-based applications, including many student tutorials and accompanying instructor manuals with exercise disks. Virginia is certified as a Microsoft Access MOUS Expert. She has over 25 years experience in computer science applications, analysis, and engineering - including extensive technical writing and editing. Her government and defense projects include lunar mapping, reliability engineering, undersea surveillance, weapon system interface simulation, and naval communications. Her civilian projects include computerized project management and horse race handicapping. She holds a M.S. in Systems Management, University of Southern California, an M.S. in Computer Science, University of Southern California and a B.S. Mathematics, Stanford University.
Bernadette Watts has loved to draw since her childhood in England. She created her first picture book under the influence of Beatrix Potter. Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent and is the illustrator of North South fairy tales The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.
Paul Kennedy narrates Andersen's dour fable in an avuncular manner that, despite his real expressiveness, will be hard for adults to take, but the story is too complex and bleak for an audience as young as his manner calls for. He reads with a Canadian accent. The brief story is broken up frequently by the Canadian Brass performing excerpts of Christmas music; the arrangements are often interesting but not necessarily kid-friendly or upbeat, especially the discordant and decidedly minor "What Child Is This?". When the story's ending--bitter, sad, regretful, resigned--is followed by "O, Christmas Tree," it seems ironically cruel. Unfortunately, this program is misconceived for adults and children alike. W.M. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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