Book Review, fairy tale, Fiction, N3

[N3] 親指姫(おやゆびひめ)

Thumbelina is born from a flower her mother received from a witch, but she is no taller than a thumb (jp: 親指(おやゆび))! The animals of the forest are fascinated by her and take her along to live with them.

This fairy tale was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish writer. It was rewritten as a Japanese children’s book by Hagiwara Tetsuo and has really cute picture book illustrations by Ozaki Taeko.

This picture book doesn’t have any furigana, but uses an accessible language and only very common kanji. The plot itself is shaped by repetitions typical of fairy tales, which of course also support comprehension. Especially readers who know the original tale, shouldn’t have any problem following along.

This version of Thumbelina can be read for free under this link:

Her story isn’t the only fairy tale by Andersen that was rewritten here, though. In my opinion, it had the most beautiful illustrations, but I also really enjoyed The Little Match Girl and The Ugly Duckling, which can all be accessed here.

Length: 15 pages

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