The Snow Queen

by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Misha Hoekstra

Read time: about 4 minutes

A fair lady in distress, a prince charming and a ‘happy ever after’ is what most of the fairytales consist of. The debate of whether fairytales are good for kids or not is going on since centuries. There is no right way to tackle this but one issue is settled. Fairytales have been a part of all our childhood. We have come across it in different forms.

Grandmother sat in the blessed bright sunshine and read aloud from the Bible: “Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

Young girls are taught that they are to be respected and treated well, where boys are taught to be brave and chivalrous. There is no denying that a certain type of fairytale has been made more popular than the other. Which is where ‘The Snow Queen’ breaks the stereotype.

Cover page

‘The Snow Queen’ has a beautiful illustrated cover. The copy I am reading is blue in color with decorations around it. It keeps up the glorifies the fantasy inside and complells to buy the physical copy of the book, which is exactly what I am going to do. Another book for my shelf!


The book is about Gerda and Kai. These two kids are friends, more like siblings. Gerda is a smart girl who likes the company of Kai in their garden. Kai likes Gerda as much. Kai is nice to all the people around till a sad thing happens and he is left cold as snow.

The story revolves around Gerda and her journey to rescue Kai from the snow Queen. The Characterization is quite different from other children’s books. Gerda is not the damsel in distress. She on the other hand has taken the entire responsibility of finding Kai and bringing him back with herself. It is quite refreshing to see characters so different from other fairytales.


The book is an enjoyable treat for sure and that is the reason it is so famous too. The book has been adapted into a couple of movies but hardly a few seem to know the actual story inside.

The book is quite different from the other fairytales that most of us have grown up reading about. In this tale there are no perfect extremities. There is nothing black and white, not even the main characters. Gerda is a noble lead character in the book who has set out to find her friend but somehow forgets about him while living with a lady, until reminded by the roses in the garden. While many will argue that she is just a child who was distracted, many will still make a mindful note of it. The book also mentions a bandit girl who tortures animals but still is sweet to the girl she captures.

Tickling a reindeer with a knife to scare it not funny.

After encountering a set of characters who have mixed shades within themselves, this may not be a perfect book to hand over to children. But of course this is open to debate since there is a huge leeway given to cinderella story where the toes of the step sister was chopped off so she could fit into the glass shoes.


The book, besides it’s content retains its bit of fantasy. Talking flowers and animals are made real with a help of good writing. The book takes you to the world of Children with its narration.

Good points

The illustrations are beautiful. The cover page demands it’s place on the shelf. The narration is amusing. Lead characters in the book are quite fascinating. Gerda is probably a fictional character who will be remembered when it comes to fairy tale.

Bad point

The book is a work of art but it someone dampens the praise when it comes to content inside. The book begins with a promise but it keeps one confused throughout. The joy of enjoying a good story without putting much mind into the duality of characters is lost.


The book’s claim to be fit for children needs some rephrasing. It may not be fit for children but it still makes a good story. For those who want to understand the inspiration behind the movie ‘Frozen’ this book is always waiting.

* I received this book for reviewing. It has not influenced the review at all.

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH