”Far from here, in the land the swallows flee to in winter, lived a king who had eleven sons and one daughter, Elisa.”
So begins the story of Elisa and her brothers. At the beginning, everything was well, they lived peacefully in the castle and were loved and indulged by their father, the king. But, one day the king decided to remarry and their stepmother did not want them. None of them. Elisa was sent to the country and the eleven boys were turned into swans. The days and the years passed and Elisa grew up forgotten by the world, but she never forgot her brothers and she missed them terribly.
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.