Anthea Bell's new translation from the original Danish rediscovers the charm of Hans Christian Anderson's satirical tale of a spoiled princess who shuns the attentions of an honest prince and sacrifices her dignity for amusing trifles.
Engaging watercolor and ink illustrations by Austrian artist Lisbeth Zwerger capture the lyrical, old-world flavor of this classical fairy tale. The characters are aptly attired in romantic costumes. Flowing robes, winsome peasant dresses, knee breeches, and curious pointed shoes enliven the illustrations.
The story is played out against a subdued palette of soft greys, browns, greens, oranges, and mauves as Ms. Zwerger depicts the empty-minded antics of the princess and her ladies.