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A fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen presented with modern illustrations. It’s a story about love at first sight. When the one-legged tin soldier saw the paper ballerina and assumed she was just like him, with one leg, falls in love with her. It’s a story of love, chance and fate.
Teaming up for another fairy tale retelling, following Hansel and Gretel (2008), Corace and Rylant breathe life into Hans Christian Andersen's story of a one-legged tin soldier who falls in love with a dancing doll. She's as delicate as he is pokerfaced, but he sees that they have one thing in common: "Most amazingly of all, she balanced on one leg!" After a jealous goblin knocks the soldier out the window, he is pushed downstream in a newspaper boat and swallowed by a fish, but he meets his fate "with courage" until he can see the doll again. Rylant preserves the story's character-building insistence on the soldier's decorum throughout his ordeal. At the same time, the sight of him in his dress uniform, bayonet at the ready, lodged upside down in a garden bed or lying patiently in the belly of the huge fish will make readers smile. The slightly oversize format gives Corace scope to paint the period interiors from a toy's-eye view, echoing Rylant's opening observation: "Toys have their own mysterious lives and adventures that we may never know." Ages 4 8.