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The Snow Queen

by Hans Christian Andersen
64 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Jeanne

Excellent read for children with mentions of God and Satan, but little theology.

Plot

When a shard of glass from the Devil's Mirror, broken long ago, gets inside Kay's eye and his heart, he falls under the spell of the Snow Queen. His playmate Gerda leaves home in the dead of winter to find him and bring him home again.

Morality

After being afflicted with the shard glass, Kay becomes mean and vindictive and leaves home eagerly. Gerda leaves to bring him back and is willing to go anywhere to get him home again. Their sibling love is the strongest of the values in the story. Some characters are deceitful and mean, but their behavior is frowned upon and not shown in a kindly light.

Spiritual Content

There are mentions of the Devil, God, and Christ in some parts, but the theology is a bit strange (Andersen had only a very loose grasp of theology). A poem mentioned twice in the story reads,

"When Jesus Christ was yet a child,
He had a garden fair and wild."

Violence

A girl threatens to stab Gerda at one point if she doesn't do something.

Drug and Alcohol Content

One off-stage character drinks too much alcohol and falls into a stupor, but it is passed over very quickly.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

'The Snow Queen' is an enchanting book for young children. The theme of love is captivating, the morals good, and the bond between Gerda and Kay very sweet. Andersen does an excellent job of weaving this story together and bringing it to a satisfactory close.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 5-7

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