Ole and Kristen worked for a lord who was both rich and good. Every year, for Christmas, together with his wife, he welcomed all the poor children of the area to the castle and treated them to a great celebration with gifts and feasting. As Ole and Kristen worked very hard, their children received more gifts than the others, even Hans, who was called the Cripple because his legs were too weak to carry him. But this year, while his brothers and sisters received warm clothes, Hans received only a story book. Ole and Kristen would have preferred warm clothing for him too, but Hans was happy to have something to read during the long hours he spent in his bed. Ole and Kristen worked hard to maintain the castle gardens and envied their master who was rich without needing to work. One evening, Hans heard his parents complaining about this once again and offered to read them one the stories from the book he had received for Christmas. Ole and Kristen would never have believed it, but the reading of a simply story would change the life of this poor family...   Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author, poet and artist. Celebrated for children’s literature, his most cherished fairy tales include ”The Emperor's New Clothes”, ”The Little Mermaid”, ”The Nightingale”, ”The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, ”The Snow Queen”, ”The Ugly Duckling” and ”The Little Match Girl”. His books have been translated into every living language, and today there is no child or adult that has not met Andersen's whimsical characters. His fairy tales have been adapted to stage and screen countless times, most notably by Disney with the animated films ”The Little Mermaid” in 1989 and ”Frozen”, which is loosely based on ”The Snow Queen”, in 2013. Thanks to Andersen's contribution to children's literature, his birth date, April 2, is celebrated as International Children's Book Day.
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