Today is International Children's Book Day. This day was created in honor of a well-known, and (in my opinion) under appreciated novelist, short story writer and fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. Mr. Andersen was born in 1805 and died (three years after a fall) at the age of 70 in 1875.
I learned of the significance of this day and immediately thought of the movie I grew up loving and the wonderful book I picked up at the used bookstore I worked at on The Outer Banks called Christine's Picture Book. The book was a reproduction of a scrapbook that Mr. Andersen and his friend Adolph Drewsen (aka Grandfather Drewsen) created for Drewsen's granddaughter Christine Stampe. Included in the book are magazine, newspaper and picture-sheets from France, Germany and Denmark amid cut-outs and whimsical poems created by the two men. A wonderful birthday gift for the little girl and memoir for her as she grew up. I have placed this book up for sale on the website if you are interested...Photos will be posted by this evening.
One of my favorite movies is the (very loosely based) biography directed by Charles Vidor. The film Hans Christian Andersen starred the very lovely Danny Kaye. The movie featured music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. Mr. Loesser did a very nice job creating songs from Mr. Andersen's fairy tales including Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, Inchworm and The Little Mermaid. If you have not seen it, i recommend it, although, sometimes the ballet scenes can be a bit long, but beautiful. And, yes, Andersen did sing in real life (soprano, until his voice changed). He was also a weaver's apprentice, worked for a tailor and was accepted to the Royal Danish Theatre as an actor before he turned primarily to writing.
What a great memory...I think I will go to Netflix and get the movie sent out, hey maybe it will stream...