Hans Christian Andersen lived between 1805 and 1875. He was a highly prolific Danish author of plays, novels and poems. He is most known for his fairy tales which often depict poor and helpless characters, the struggle between good and evil and man’s resilience in the face of adversity. His fairy tales have been translated in more than 125 languages and they’ve served as inspiration for movies, plays and even more books and stories. In today’s article, we are going to present to you the 10 best Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales that every single person in this world must read!
This story is probably the most popular out of all stories written by Hans Christian Andersen. It is so popular that the words the emperor’s new clothes have become an idiom, representing something that nobody believes, but everyone believes that everyone else believes. No childhood is complete without this gem!
The Ugly Duckling tells the story of an ugly little duckling that gets picked on and bullied until they transform into a beautiful swan. This story is very useful to teach children how to appreciate and value other people and how to judge other based on their appearances. Hans Christian Andersen didn’t have any inspiration from folklore when he created this story.
A rather confusing and very depressing story, The Story of a Mother tells the tale of a mother whose child was taken by death. She goes through various trials to reach the place where Death took the child and when she eventually does that, blind and having lost her hair, Death shows her two fates, one of which is her child’s. One fate is happy and the other, tragic. When she realizes that it was God’s will for her child to die, she allows Death to take her child. Creepy, we know!
Thumbelina tells the story of a miniature child and her adventures in the world of imaginary creatures. The story was well received at the time and it has been adapted to numerous movies and plays, including a now Disney classic in 1994, which receive quite a lot of criticism. Have you seen it?
The Nightingale is a touching story about the Emperor of China who preferred the song of a bejeweled mechanical bird over the song of the real bird. When he falls sick, the Nightingale who served as inspiration for the mechanical bird comes to him and Death is so impressed by its singing that it leave and the Emperor survives. A great fairy tale for children!
This is probably the saddest story ever written. Virtually everyone who’s read it cried and we recommend parents forewarn their kids before they read this story to them. It was made into a movie in 1928, called La Petite Marchande d’Allumettes. It is a 40 minute silent film made by Jean Renoir.
The Ice-Maiden was written by Hans Christian Andersen towards the end of his career. It’s a complex tale of love and loss, of sacrifice and jealousy. It’s absolutely perfect for children and young adults, and it would make a great movie if someone decided to adapt this wonderful story. It’s a wonder nobody did it.
This fairy tale is about a tin soldier and his love for a paper ballerina. It is also one of the saddest stories ever written by Andersen, which is saying a lot. Even if it is sad, children of all ages will adore this story. It was adapted into an animated film in 1992 and produced by Hanna-Barbera, but it is yet to be translated into a major motion movie.
Who doesn’t know and love The Little Mermaid?! The most famous adaptation of this fairy tale adaptation is the one made by Disney in 1989. The fairy tale itself has been criticized by many, but despite that The Little Mermaid is one of the most popular Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales.
The Snow Queen is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1844, right before Christmas. Gerda and her friend Kai experience both good and evil in this timeless classic. Did you know that Disney’s box office hit is loosely based on this Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale?
Which one is your favorite Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale?