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The Fir Tree

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  923 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The tale is about a fir tree so anxious to grow up, so anxious for greater things, that he cannot appreciate living in the moment. The tale was first published 21 December 1844 with "The Snow Queen" in Copenhagen, Denmark by C.A. Reitzel. One scholar indicates that "The Fir-Tree" was the first of Andersen's fairy tales to express a deep pessimism.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 28th 1970 by Harper & Row (first published 1844)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Bionic Jean
I think I am going to have to stop reading anything by Hans Christian Andersen, and go on to something more light-hearted and optimistic, such as Russian literature perhaps (insert icon for irony here). But here goes ...

The Fir Tree is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1844, at the same time as his other deeply pessimistic tale "The Snow Queen" link here for my review.

And now I find I can't bear to relive this story in much detail, in order to review it properly. But I'll
...more
Ines
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Sorry, but this story is terrible, poor tree! ...more
Candace Robinson
First, the edition that I received has a spectacular cover! I have never read anything by Hans Cristian Andersen! I loved the illustrations, and wow the story itself was a depressing one. It had me feeling pretty sorry for the tree! Full review on my blog https://literarydust.wordpress.com/20...
Rebecca McNutt
I've never liked this story. I didn't like it when I was a little kid and I don't like it now, either. Say what you want, that it's philosophical and deep and a portrait of the fleeting nature of life, but it's still depressing as hell. I don't know, maybe that's a personal thing. I grew up in areas with some very old trees at the edge of forests, and they were just a fixture of nature that wasn't necessarily sacred, but still something to be respected. If you're going to cut down a tree, at ...more
Annamaria
Lovely read about our need to be able to appreciate things as long as we have them. Also very, very sad. Plus, the cover for this edition is stunning!
Jana
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, children
What a great reminder to appreciate and enjoy each stage of life! This is a short story & a must read!
Bettie
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC radio listeners
Out in the woods amongst his many large companions, a little fir tree is keen to grow up.


Listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/...


2* A Country Christmas
3* A Killer's Christmas in Wales
5* A Child's Christmas in Wales (re-visit for nth time)
3* The Fir Tree
Lara Maynard
"Out in the forest stood a pretty little fir tree."

This story is more disconcerting that cozy, so if you're looking for a sweet Christmas tale, then don't look to The Fire Tree. It was one of my favourite Christmas reads this holiday season, and one that I'd pick up again. I found this vintage 1970s Harper & Row edition at a local library and enjoyed the book design and illustrations, along with the story first published in the 1840s.

Dela Knight
Original Review on: http://pastriesandnovelthoughts.weebl...

So, let's start with the outside of this book-it is stunning. The book itself, The Fir Tree, is a lesson on appreciation. Appreciation of what we have, who we are and the things we are surrounded with. It's a beautifully sad story but an important one. In this book we learn to enjoy life and the little things in it. You learn to understand that taking your days for granted can make life pass you by without you even noticing.

Even though
...more
Sarah Coller
Dec 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Besides Wuthering Heights, this has to be the absolute most depressing book I've ever read. As soon as I realized where this story was going, my heart began to beat faster with dread and fear. Warning: it ends badly. I hope someone else can find some redemption in this pitiful tale. As for me and my house, we shall purge the book.
Laura
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gundula
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Out in the woods amongst his many large companions, a nice little fir tree is keen to grow up. Read by Paul Copley.
Pratyasha
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, danish
A beautiful (a bit gloomy) story that gives a moral that we hear almost every day, but mostly don't give much thought to. Stop for a moment and enjoy the rustling sound of tree leaves or the sound of the rain, the sight of the plain blue sky or that of dark grey clouds above your head. Be grateful for what you have at this moment because you never know if the future will be better or worse. Having high expectations of what the future holds for you might only upset you eventually.

I need to start
...more
Abigail
The Fir Tree, illustrated by Bernadette Watts.

Bernadette Watts - who has also illustrated Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling and The Snow Queen - turns her attention to his melancholy arboreal "biography" in this lovely picture-book. Never content with his present lot, always looking ahead and wanting more, the titular fir tree is unable to appreciate the true meaning of the events of his life, from being made into a Christmas decoration, to being stored in the attic.

After finding
...more
Fern Adams
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sort of story that while read often to children, I feel you get more out of as an adult. A little fir tree full of hope and optimism leaves its forest and becomes a Christmas tree- but what happens once Christmas is over? There are a number of messages in this; don’t take anything for granted, learn to appreciate each stage of life you are in and quite possibly don’t have a real tree for Christmas!
Abigail
The Fir Tree, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.

Originally published in 1844, as part of Hans Christian Andersen's New Fairy Tales, The Fir Tree - like The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen - is one of the author's original creations. The story of a young tree who is unable to appreciate present blessings, because he is always looking forward to future glories, it displays that unmistakable melancholy found in so many of Andersen's creations, and concludes with the little fir's sad demise.
...more
Bice
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely short tale... glad I read it in audio.
Joey Woolfardis
First and foremost, the story itself isn't anything particularly grand. It has a moral and I can view how, at the time of it being written, it was a wonderful and perhaps innovative. There's an imagination here that you don't always get in stories (even those that are deemed successful or popular). Having said that, there's really nothing splendid about the story and any kind of magic that one may expect from a Christmas story just seeps away after the first few words.

However, I will include
...more
Suzanne
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

i love the moral lesson of it. it is ,maybe, very sad to many, but isnt it just life telling us to never rush things and appreciate every minute we have? if i were to tell it to a child i think i will choose a perfect timing to it.....it maybe too depressed for his/her personality.
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
About: The Fir Tree is a fiction picture children’s book written by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Tiina Nunnally, and illustrated by Sanna Annukka. This book is the First American Edition, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House in 2004, hardcover, 42 pages. This title was originally published in 10/28/1970 titled Grantraeet.

Summary from the book: A little fir tree realizes too late that it did not appreciate the grand
...more
Nathan Phillips
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
The Fir Tree is a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. It is a story about the life of a fir tree who is always looking towards a great future. I liked the way this story encouraged me to think more positively of the present than longing for future happiness.

I found the character of the fir tree interesting because it developed from being like a little child, wanting to be older, to realising that it should have enjoyed life while it was young. This becomes especially obvious near the end when
...more
Lesle
The Fir Tree is about a tree that starts out as a little sprout. All the action that takes place around him he thinks he wants to grow up and leave the forest like all the other trees.
When finally he is chosen and his limbs stay intact, he is so excited about being a loved and decorated tree with a gold gilded star made of paper is placed at the top.
The servants carry him up to the attic to be left, but in the end the Tree dries up, is sawed into pieces and is set on fire.
Sad little Fir Tree :(
Diana Oliveira
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a nice fairy tale if only very sad and melancholic.
It presents a very important life lesson: even though it might appear that what other have is so much better, that may only be appearance; take comfort in what you do have and rejoice in every thing day.

Very appropriate for this time of year.

:)
Jenny - Book Sojourner
We discovered that this was not a great Christmas book. Though it is about a fir tree, and Christmas does occur, my kids and I found this story a bit too melancholy and depressing for our liking. There is certainly something to be learned from the fir tree, his lack of contentment, and then his too late reflection on the past. But not a great bedtime story. Oops.
Jeimy
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moving fable by Hans Christian Andersen which illustrates the old adage, "be careful what you wish for…" Reading it in the 21st century, it takes on ecological and environmental themes as well.

Thanks, NetGalley, for introducing me to Sanna Annukka's stunning artwork! This one will also make its way to both my personal and classroom libraries.
Vaishali
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such a sad tale about the life of a Christmas tree ... and a cautionary story about the dangers of wanting to growing up too fast, and thinking the grass is greener on the other side..
Best line ever: "I heard it on my happiest evening, but I did not know then how happy I was."
Mira | I Read Like Phoebe Runs
Always loved Andersen's tales, and the illustrations by Sanna Annukka make this edition so freaking gorgeous!
Anna of Mleczna River
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
How I'd summarize this short story is to seize the day! Live in the moment. It's a sad story (mind for kids!) about a fir tree that wants to grow taller and older to achieve great things. The young fir tree lives in the future - thinks that his happinness is to come with age. However, little does he know that with growing older,come different responsibilities and danger, in his case, being chopped down and taken to a mansion to dress as a chiristams tree. He enjoys being dressed up in sweets and ...more
Stephan
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of Andersen's best stories
I really loved the message
It is so much true and relevant for people who wish to achieve something in life. It was a Carpe Diem message, enjoy life, live the moment
I also enjoy the melancholic style Andersen used. Brilliant Story.
Natalie
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
“Oh, had I but enjoyed myself while I could have done so!”

A well done tale about why you should take the time to live in the moment, rather than looking to bigger and better things at the expense of what you already have.

Short but sweet, with a good takeaway message.

3.5 / 5
Leaflet
The story's a downer but the illustrations are wonderful.
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Hans Christian Andersen (often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories — called eventyr, or "fairy-tales" — express themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales,
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