The Tinder-box

Yesterday we read Ardizzone’s sparsely-(but excellently)-illustrated version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Tinderbox”.

Today we read a modern-day highly-(but poorly)-illustrated version of the same.

When we got to the end, which actually happened very quickly, because it was so much shorter, J11 commented, “Well that was flat”
And he was right. Apart from the politically correct ending that saw the king and queen agreeing to marry off their princess (as opposed to them challenging the dogs and being tossed so high into the air that they broke to pieces when they fell!), all through the story the important bits were missing. Maybe not important to the actual storyline, but important in terms of making it a *great* story.

Take, for example, the soldier’s friends. In the modern book they do not secure so much as a mention. But in Ardizzone’s, they became the basis of a great post-story discussion.

“Now he was well off, he had smart clothes and made any number of friends, who all said what a rare good sort he was and a true gentleman. And this pleased hom no end. But as he kept spending money every day and never earned any he very soon found himself with no more than a couple of pence in his pocket, and he had to move out of his smart apartments into a tiny garret under the roof. And furthermore he had to brush his own boots and mend them with a darning needle.
None of his friends came to see him any more, for there were too many stairs to climb.”
……..a few paragraphs later his fortunes turned, “So back he moved to his smart rooms, dressed in elegant clothes and, of course, all his former friends became very fond of him again.”

When we had finished with *what is true friendship* and *motivation for friendship* and *making excuses*, J11 (again!) concluded “Well, I think we should just get originals in future and not “based on” books”.
He was right again!

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2 Responses to The Tinder-box

  1. Pingback: a month old » TravelBlog Archive » Pilgrims’ Progress

  2. Nikki says:

    I had to go and check out our Hans book and yep, we’ve got the original stories and they break to bits! I’m all for the original stories – I recall The Little Red Hen too and read it to the kids a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised that it was original (well, it was actually my book 35yrs ago, so there wouldn’t have been any PC rewriting back then!).

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