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I'm Kayla; a YA who loves to read & write MG Fiction.
I Live for Jesus cause he Died for Me.
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Homeschooled. Eldest Girl. One Brother. Three Dogs. Two Cats. Actually a Unicorn.

Message to Readers

Alright! Here's my entree for the book review competition. I'm trying to expand my horizons and write things I normally would't. The book I reviewed is one of my all time favorites, and I hope I helped lead someone to this wonderful tale with my review!
All likes, comments, and reviews are appreciated!
Good luck everyone!

Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride: A Review

February 18, 2019

Have you heard the original story of Thumbelina
Created by Hans Christian Anderson, it tells the story of a miniature girl who constantly has to escape from marrying odd creatures before finally marrying a flower prince who's just her size.
Doesn't sound too exciting, does it? Well, don't worry, because this review isn't about that story--or rather--that version of the story.

Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride is a Fantasy Adventure written by Barbara Ensor and published by Schwartz & Wade Books in 2008. This book retells Thumbelina's story in a longer and slightly different way, giving us more insight into where she came from and who she really is, all while keeping the key theme of escaping forced arranged marriages from the original.
The books starts at the very beginning of Thumbelina's life, showing us how a one and five-eighths inch girl lives in the home of a overprotective mother. Then we quickly get to see how she survives in the dangerous woods after abruptly being taken from her home one summer night. From nasty toads, to harsh weather, to bossy rodents, Thumbelina's troubles never seem to end--however--neither does her plucky spirit.

As the main character in the book, we get to see the world through the eyes of Thumbelina, someone who not only has to use a walnut shell as a bed and flower petals as blankets, but from someone who's never been out on her own before. With doodles and diary entrees from Thumbelina herself, we see how she uses kindness and quick-thinking to keep herself alive and well in her ever-changing environment. These characteristics have been valued from female leads for as long as I can remember, and as the author herself says: "She [Thumbelina] deserves to be right up there with Romeo's Juliet, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid."
And after reading this book, I wholeheartedly agree.

One of my favorite things about this book is how real the author makes it seem. Barbara Ensor really convinces you that Thumbelina was a real girl and that everything she went through really happened, even saying from a first-person point of view that "getting to know Thumbelina has changed my perspective in some important ways." and while this may seem silly to do, she's technically not the first to do it. In the beginning of the book--and in the original--it's stated that a bluebird (changed into a swallow by Ensor) watched Thumbelina's whole story, perched on a windowsill, and told her tale to none other than Hans Christian Anderson himself. 
Hey, maybe there are little people out there, maybe there aren't, that's really up to you to decide.

Alright, I'm gonna be honest here, I can't remember the exact details of when I first got this book, but I do know I've had it for a long time and it's one of the only books I genuinely enjoy reading over and over again (I think I've read it like ten times). However, the cover of the book says it's "a quick read for smart girls", and though it's an extended version of Anderson's, as I got older I realized just how quick the book really is. It's a small book (around eight inches tall and five inches wide) with only one hundred and sixty pages full of large pictures and big print, so the book really doesn't hold many words. Because of this, it focuses more on telling the story rather than showing, and while this is usually a big no-no in writing, you have to remember that this is kind of the original idea for the book. 
Here's a scene, for example: 
"In the same way that Thumbelina used to read books, she now read the ground and the sky. She noticed fresh footprints and circling hawks. Her nose lead her to wild raspberries and honeysuckle blossoms. She learned which animals to trust and which ones to watch out for. Partly it was a matter of size."
The idea is to make you feel as if someone was telling you the story right then and there, so to avoid losing your interest with too many little details, they just giving you an idea of what's been going on and what's going to happen next. It's sweet, and almost nostalgic, reading this tale. It makes you appreciate the simpler times, back when you didn't need much to be able to turn your surroundings into something different and exciting. In the end, this book is a journey in itself, requiring you to use your imagination to create Thumbelina and her world yourself, using descriptions here and there to help you along the way.

Now, this story isn't a best seller like The Hunger Games, or a timeless tale like To Kill A Mockingbird, or a world-wide phenomenon like Harry Potter, nonetheless, this story holds such a great character and a charming spirit that I truly believe it can stand the tests of time and inspire just about anyone who wishes to learn the true tale of Thumbelina.  
I would suggest Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride to anyone who enjoys the retelling of a classic stories, with a bit of nostalgia, and a great female lead to look up to.


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  • February 18, 2019 - 1:42pm (Now Viewing)

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