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The Little Match Girl

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  244 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The classic fairy-tale from Hans Christian Andersen is illustrated by Caldecott Medal-winning artist, Jerry Pinkney.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 27th 2001 by Phyllis Fogelman Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 418)
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Norah Una Sumner
Feb 09, 2016 Norah Una Sumner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

My mother used to read this to me almost every night when I was younger.She read slowly,carefully pronouncing every word as if that's the only way to read this story-carefully,not missing a single word. I've always understood the meaning and the ending of the story but I've loved it so
Sherry Elmer
Nov 09, 2015 Sherry Elmer rated it liked it
I first read The Little Match Girl with my son when he was about 4 or 5 years old. I didn't know the story, but it was in my church library with the Christmas books, and of course the name Hans Christian Andersen was familiar. So I read it to him, and found myself thinking, why in the world am I reading this? This freezing and starving poverty-stricken child was not at all the Christas story I expected to be reading. I continued anyway, and to my surprise, the girl actually died--froze to death- ...more
Dec 10, 2009 SallySnowtiger rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Inhabiting Books
My favorite tale by Hans Christian Anderson has always been The Little Match Girl. The poignancy, the moved me deeply as a child, and still does. Naturally, then, it was a story I wanted in my own library, to share with my daughters, but with so many versions, which to choose? It was blind serendipitous luck that the version I ordered, because the cover drew me in, was adapted and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. I love it. And that seems like a feeble way to describe my emotional ...more
Tegan Mae
Beautiful story, beautiful drawings, but very, very sad.
Gerardo Mendoza-Tovar
The story is about a little girl who is out in the winter cold trying to sell matches so she wouldn’t get beaten by her dad. She curls up and sparks the matches to keep warm. As she is lighten her matches, she sees a shooting star and remembers her grandmother saying that when you see a shooting star that means that someone is dying and going to heaven. She ends up dying and everyone feels very sad, but they never showed any empathy towards her when she was alive.
This book is a very depressing s
Sam Gallagher
Jun 08, 2016 Sam Gallagher rated it liked it
This sad story is of a poor girl wandering the streets on a frigid night trying to sell her matches. When no one wants to buy them she finds shelter in an ally and one by one she lights the matches. Each time they blaze to life she sees a vision of warmth and food and family. Finally she sees her grandmother and she goes with her up to heaven. The next day the city finds her cold body. This story is illustrated in pencil, gouache, and watercolor. The morbidness of the story is apparent, however ...more
Kathy Nguyen
Mar 28, 2016 Kathy Nguyen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edrd-314
This book made my jaw drop. The heart wrenching story combined with the beautiful illustrations, made for a book that couldn't be ignored. The honesty and imagination that went into creating this story made it gave it a life of it's own. I would recommend this book to everyone, but be cautious of the ending for every young children.
Debby Baumgartner
A poor little girl who sells matches and handmade flowers to provide for her family huddles on the city street as New Year's Eve arrives. She dreams of all the wonderful things around her she can not have until her vision of her dear grandmother. The story ends with her death and the thought she is in heaven with her grandmother.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Feb 05, 2016 Cecilia Rodriguez rated it liked it
Pinkney's color illustrations underline Andersen's story. Although Pinkney has shifted the story's location to America in the early 20th Century, Pinkney shows that Andersen's story is still very powerful and relevant.
Talia Kennedy
Oct 25, 2015 Talia Kennedy rated it it was ok
This book is a bit dark! I would say that the topics that are addressed are valid topics to discuss with a child, but these issues are very blunt and leaves a sad ending.
Sep 04, 2014 Aubry rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
1999 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner

Picture Book Soak

There are many different renditions of this book, told with the same story but with different artists doing the pictures. The story is about a young girl who is selling matches on the street on New Years Eve. She is poor and has lost her shoes, but can not go home because her father will beat her. She finds and alleyway to hid in and try to get warm. As she strikes matches for heat, different scenes (or visions) appear in front of her. I wil
Jan 01, 2016 Bethe rated it really liked it
Adore this haunting and sparse story for New Year, hope it will provoke some thoughtful discussions. Pinkney's illustrations are perfect.
Feb 04, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I knew the story, as I think we all do. Reading this I am once again reminded of the many stories that we read our children and I wonder at the effects that they may have. Yes, it is a nice story that she get to be with her Grandmother in heaven in the end. But the story is about her freezing to death because she can't go home because her father "will beat her" and so she sits in an ally and slowly freezes to death.

This will not be on the "Must read to Grandchildren (or others)list" at my house.
Amy Yount
Project 4: Author/Illustrator Presentation

Lynn Plourde
Dec 17, 2015 Lynn Plourde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebook
Gorgeous art, but sad story for Christmas.
Mar 30, 2009 Ksu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad. Makes me wonder what I would do if I saw a little girl, barefoot and hungry on the street, in the middle of the winter? The reasonable and right answer would be, I would help her, but is it the case? Usually not. Usually people pass by these match-sellers, not even glancing in their direction. This is wrong. But what is more wrong, is that we still have poverty and hunger in this world. Makes me ponder about many different issues at once. Makes me wanna help out...
May 31, 2015 Abby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Yes, a truly powerful story but what is an appropriate age at which to introduce it to children? 4 years old??? Yeesh, I think that is a wee young for the introduction of child labor, sadistic beatings and kids being frozen to death but that's just me.

Wish I could remember how old I was when I first read this story - I know I was a kid but I was definitely not as young as 4 or 5. I was probably over 10.
Nov 29, 2013 Brie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn ninjas cutting onions...

Do yourself a favor and read this but not around christmas time.

Oh, what the heck, it's going to have the same effect anyway. This is a remarkable short story, it burned my mind from the moment I read it when I was little, and it has made me feel even more grateful for my family ever since. It's simply beautiful.
jenna nims
Apr 18, 2008 jenna nims rated it it was amazing
I guess I have never read this before - and was surprised by the ending - I sort of switched some words when i read it to Caroline cause it was so sad. It was a really beautiful but super sad story - i was sort of surprised it was a kids book. The pictures were really gorgeous too. I guess I really did like it but wouldnt reccommend it for a 3 year old.
Eva Leger
Jan 06, 2011 Eva Leger rated it really liked it
Shelves: julias-books
Different than anything I've read with Julia to date. I'm a little surprised she got into it as much as she did. She was still talking about the story this evening before bed. The illustrations matched the story better than possibly any I've ever seen.
This is the first time my students heard this story. It bothers me that they are not introduced to story tellers like Hans Christian Andersen. This adaptation of the story by Jerry Pinkney is marvelous. He sets the story in New York.
This is such a sad, sad story. (I'm not sure how it came to be considered a children's story; I suppose because Hans Christian Andersen wrote it.) Jerry Pinkney's illustrations are beautiful, as his work always is.
Lisa C
Oct 08, 2014 Lisa C rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Lovely rendering of this story. Beautiful pictures. Even though it's a sad tale, I find the ending a happy one, because the girl is no longer hungry and cold but is safe and happy with her grandmother.
Apr 07, 2009 Amber rated it liked it
Shelves: children-books
I read this book when I was a little girl. It's a sad book, but I fell in love with the Illustrations then. The Illustrations were done in pencil, gouache, and water on paper.
Anna Wick
This is by no means a happy book. It is real and honest and should be read to students to help them understand how life is sometimes.
Aini Akmalia
Mar 08, 2015 Aini Akmalia rated it really liked it
I'm 19-year-old teen, and I'm still reading this childhood tales. Why? Because childhood tales never grow old in me.
Aug 08, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it
One of my favourite Andersen stories, and one that made me sob, as a kid and as an adult.
Dec 28, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juv-picture
Such a sad yet uplifting story; beautifully illustrated.
Jul 19, 2009 Heloyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Lovely story. Remarkable artwork by Jerry Pinkney.
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JERRY PINKNEY is one of children’s literature’s most time-honored artists. He has been illustrating children’s books for over 40 years and has more than 75 books to his credit. He has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honor books and the winner of the Caldecott medal for The Lion and the Mouse. He has also won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, the Coretta Scott K ...more
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