When I was a child, my godfather offered me a picture book for Christmas every year. He made the books himself and the best part was when he looked at the pictures with us and told us the stories associated with them. The most beautiful picture book I received from him was inspired by an oil lamp the evening when, for the last time, oil lamps lit Copenhagen before gas lamps took over. The oil lamp had plenty of tales to tell! 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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