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The Wild Swans

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  3,061 ratings  ·  93 reviews
In this beautifully illustrated edition of the classic Hans Andersen fairy tale, The Wild Swans, translator Naomi Lewis tells the beautiful and soulful story of a young girl and her journey to find her lost brothers. Upon discovering that they have been transformed into swans, she sets off on a difficult journey, enduring many hardships on her quest to return them to their ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Barefoot Books (first published 1838)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  3,061 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Bionic Jean
The Wild Swans is a short story by Hans Christian Andersen, which was first published in 1838. It is one of his earliest and longest stories, and very involved. Ostensibly it is about a princess who rescues her eleven brothers from a spell cast by an evil queen. There are obvious themes of loyalty, trust, and hoping almost beyond hope. However, there is evidently an additional subtext. The underlying message is a religious one about virtue and self-sacrifice.

As it is a fairy story, none of the
Aug 17, 2012 marked it as to-read
one of yvonne gilbert's illustrations (not sure if it's included in the wild swans though) ..

Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A princess, eleven brothers, a wicked step-mother and here we go.

The "Queen" banished the princess to a very far, poor pasture and changed her brothers to swans, when the princess turns fifteen, she runs aways and somehow manages to find her brothers.
The only way to break the spell is a difficult and needs a sacrifice that the princess is willing to make.
PS: read the story to know what it is all about ;)
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Readers Who Appreciate Beautiful Picture-Books
The Wild Swans, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert.

Since the time I was a child, I have always had a deep and abiding love of folk and fairy-tales, and have taken great pleasure over the years, as both a reader and collector, in comparing the different artistic approaches used by various illustrators, when undertaking to interpret the same stories. Sometimes - as with the Isadora, Archipowa and Pinkney versions of The Little Match Girl - I find that a number of different editions all have equal
An enchanting, progressive fairytale. A few plot holes are completely swept over by amazing imagery; Andersen is a master story-teller. His protagonist is a phenomenal hero: she persistently follows her dream, reframes the bad into positivity, and completes work against impossible odds.

An excerpt :
"Lonely as it was on the sea-shore, she did not observe it, for the ever-moving sea showed more changes in a few hours than the most varying lake could produce during a whole year. If a black heavy
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Angela Barrett Fans
The Wild Swans, illustrated by Angela Barrett.

Adapted from a traditional Danish folktale, De vilde svaner has always been one of my favorite stories from Hans Christian Andersen, and I have vivid memories of reading it over and over again, as a girl. So when I discovered that Angela Barrett - the illustrator responsible for my favorite edition of Snow White - had also done an edition of The Wild Swans, back in the early 1980s, I was immensely excited. When I learned that the translator of this
Hans Christian Andersen's Wild Swans have many similarities to Grimm's "The Six Swans" and "The Twelve Brothers" and Andrew Lang's "The Six Swans" in The Yellow Fairy Book. I think Anderson's tale is a much later version because it is set in a Christian Kingdom. There are many references to God. Later Eliza (the protagonist) is accused of witchcraft and killing her babies and is ordered to be burnt alive at the stake. The archbishop and the church really look forward to it. I didn’t like ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Marcia Brown Fans
The Wild Swans, illustrated by Marcia Brown.

I've been struggling to recall, since beginning this Hans Christian Andersen project of mine, just when it was that I first read The Wild Swans, when it was I decided that it was one of my favorite fairy-tales, and what edition I owned at the time. I do remember that we had a massive, two-volume complete edition of Andersen in the house, from the time I was very young, but I also have this vague memory of a picture-book version. A picture-book with
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
There are two stories in this book, The Wild Swans and the Nightingale. Of the two, I prefer the nightingale, because it doesn't beat us over the head with g*d talk. It is just the story of an emperor wanting to cage a wild bird. Beautiful language. But sadly, no pictures. :(

The first story, The Wild Swans, does have simple line drawings, that could have done with a bit of color. It is a faithful translation, from what I can tell of Hans Christian Anderson, and therein lines the problem.

This is
Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
This was one of my favourite fairytales when I was little! The evil step-mother strikes again, but children turn out to be smarter and better than her :)
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved the story but I never imagined how beautiful the artwork would be when I picked up this book. Reminds me of childhood.
Magda Żmijan
This lovely edition contains two of the loveliest fairy tales from my childhood. First of them - "The wild swans" tells us a story of bewitched princes and their younger sister who tries to save them. I don't know if it's just this edition, or if I used to read a little bit different version, but there are few things that were not exactly as I remembered them. Still, the essence of the story is the same and it is a lovely tale about faith, devotion, and determination. The little girl is willing ...more
Marcia Brown's illustrations are beautiful in this book. I've looked at several of her picture books for a paper I wrote about her in my children's literature class toward my MLIS. I think I prefer her painting to her woodblock printing. She won a Caldecott medal for Cinderella, but I like her Wild Swans better. Since the illustrations are so poignant and represent the story so well, I was very surprised to find out that it's out of print--it wasn't even on Goodreads and I had to add it.

The king
The Wild Swans, illustrated by Kaarina Kaila.

As mentioned in my review of Susan Jeffers' interpretation of The Wild Swans, the strong folkloric associations of this tale make for an especially powerful story, one that has always been a particularly beloved favorite, amongst Andersen's many brilliant works. I was consequently quite pleased to discover this lovely edition, previously unknown to me. Adapted by Deborah Hautzig, and illustrated by Finnish artist Kaarina Kaila - whose only other
Apr 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
In the mid-1800s, Andersen wrote many original fairy tales. He has many common themes however to the stories that had been passed down for generations. This story is of a young girl sent away by her evil stepmother. She then must rescue her eleven brothers from the spell that has been placed upon them. In a dream, a fairy came to her and gave her the answer. So after, a king falls in love with her at first sight. This tale is a bit lengthy and has a few passages of irrelevant information, but ...more
Maggie Gordon
The Wild Swans is one of the lesser known Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. Not so fond of the whole "you're beautiful and therefore good" or "kidnapping is a good way to show that you love beautiful strangers!". Yeah, some fairy tales have aged less well than others... However, this edition is rather unique. The story is a series of wordless illustrations that are all attached together like a super long poster. Interesting concept! I wish it had been applied to a fairy tale I liked more ^^;
Elizabeth Root
Oct 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-text
The princess sets out to find her brothers who have not been in her life. As she discovers they are bewitched, she goes above and beyond to set them free. I would use this story as another form of exposure to students. This story is not one I had picked up before.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sonlight-p3-4
Seems to be a fairy tale that isn't very well known. I like that the princess perseveres in order to save her brothers and has a happy ending. The illustrations seem to show all of the children about the same age, which is kinda weird.
cEe beE
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazing-art
Naomi Lewis' beautiful illustrations make this fairy tale even more wonderful.
Andrea Zuvich
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A highly enjoyable and beautifully illustrated version of Andersen's classic.
Bianca Escada
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie Tournas
The classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen, embellished with delicate, whimsical line drawings. In this impossibly complicated story, the princess Elisa must rescue her eleven brothers who have been turned into swans by their evil stepmother. It is very much a 19th century story, with beleaguered men, women who are either evil as sin or innocent as a child, Christian themes, and long drawn out suffering. Also includes a shorter tale, The Nightingale, about a Chinese emperor who prefers a ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the best fairytales that I have ever read. It's about a girl named Elisa who was very beautiful and was the only girl out of 12 children. They lived the royal life that is until their father married a evil queen who did not care for his children. She sent Elisa to another family to live as a peasant, and she talked the king into abandoning his very own sons filling his head with lies, so she then turned his eleven sons into wild swans, and they took off flying out of the ...more
DelAnne Frazee
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Title: The Wild Swans
Author: Hans Christian Anderson
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
Published: 2-12-2017
Pages: 65
Genre: Children's Fiction, ,
Sub-Genre: Fairy Tales, Children's EBooks, Folk Tales, Classic, Fantasy & Magic
ISBN: 9781782691228
Reviewed For NetGalley & Pushkin Children's Books
Reviewer: DelAnne
Rating: 4.5 Stars

A princess tries to save her eleven brothers who have been cured by their evil stepmother. A story many of us her as children ourselves is now
Sammm [involuntarily somewhat on hiatus]
2 for perhaps 2.5; but even that may be a stretch, and that was solely due to the save the story The Nightingale brought. To be honest, the story The Wild Swans itself probably isn't that bad, either, but the presentation of this particular edition is really a huge letdown, hence the rating.

A digitized ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm actually REALLY confused about the ARC copy provided... If anyone has the physical copy when it's
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore Hans Christian Andersen’s beautiful mind- his soul has been a special gift to this earth and I believe his stories still create magical ripples all across the world. When reading his stories one can feel the essence of his pure heart and childlike innocence emanating through every word and creating that childlike sense of wonder within ourselves. That is a divine gift.
The illustrations in this bicentennial version took my breath away and I deeply enjoyed every page. This is
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, kids
When I first saw "The Wild Swans" in the children's book section, I didn't know what it was. Cased in a beautifully illustrated box (by Thomas Aquinas Maguire), I thought it was a misplaced gift item. It didn't help when I opened it and all I saw was the seemingly endless accordion-booklet of wordless illustrations. Luckily, I saw the little booklet and took some time to read the Hans Christian Andersen adapted fairy tale.
The Book Girl
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I never can tire of Hans Christain Anderson.

Two great fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, this book contains The Wild Swans and The Nightingale. I would dissect the meaning, symbolism, underlying themes, but I won't. I really enjoyed the cover is completely bright and super fun.

I did feel like it was very long, but honestly, it was good.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alycia Kelly
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is about a princess that has eleven brothers. Their dad married a queen who was not a very good person. The queen turned the princess’ eleven brothers into swans, though they become human throughout the night. The princess is the one who saved her brothers from the spell that was put on them. I had not read this story previously, or even heard of it by word of mouth. This was an interesting story, and I could definitely see myself passing this story down.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have been spoiled by reading Hans Christian Andersen with illustrations by Sanna Annukka.
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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,