Christmastime often brings tales of faith and merriment. Hans Christian Anderson had a different take on the tradition of the Christmas tree, however.
In The Fir Tree, translated by Tiina Nunnally, he tells the tale of a charming little fir tree which, in its constant quest for happiness, overlooks all the fine things about its life until it’s too late. Unhappy with its present state in the forest, it jealously looks on as other trees in the forest are cut down and taken out into the wide world, and wonders when its turn for glory will come.
Illustrated by Sanna Annukka, this rendition is cloth-bound with gold foil embellishments. The illustrations are nothing like I’ve ever seen in a picture book. They break the barrier between adult books and children’s picture books by providing visual stimulation that will delight readers of all ages.
I’m going to have to admit that when I read this story, I was a bit surprised at how it turned out. Never having read this before, I fully expected another jolly Christmas story where everything turns out well in the end. Considering the fact that most fairy tales and folk tales in their original form were a bit darker than the Disney versions that I grew up with, I probably should have had a clue.
Although I found the story quite sad, it is a wonderful illustration of how contentment with our present situations will allow us to have joy in all circumstances, rather than missing the little moments that otherwise will pass us by.
This book would be a lovely Christmas gift for book lovers of all ages and would also be a lovely addition to anyone’s home library.
Disclaimer- I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are entirely my own.