A Perfect Wizard?

Our local library recently rearranged their shelves in the children's library room, which has made finding certain favorite books harder.  On the other hand, the children and I are discovering new gems every visit. 

The new biography section lines the left back wall.  Typically, I comb through those shelves looking for whomever we are studying in history.  I was quickly scanning the titles when I noticed The Perfect Wizard.  Who is that about? I thought.  Pulling it off the shelf I realized the book was about Hans Christian Andersen a beloved fairy tale writer of ours.  The library also had the book on audio, and I picked that us as well. (In case our youngest wanted to hear the book again and again.)  The library also had a picture book containing eleven fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen.  With illustrations by Lizbeth Zwerger, I had to pick it up too. 

Over lunch, one day, I read the book aloud to the children.  They were enthralled as much as I was.  Andersen did not lead a cushy life.  Instead, it was one of suffering and perseverance.  When I finished the short biography, I casually mentioned the book compiled and illustrated by Zwerger.  My daughters immediately scooped it up, took it upstairs to read, and I haven't seen it since.

Linked to Read Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word


  1. This sounds terrific! I love children's biographies!

  2. That looks really interesting. I'll have to look that book up. I've just been reading Inventing Wonderland, a book about five other children's authors. They also lead pretty hard lives, and since the biographies I was reading are written for adults it includes a lot I won't be sharing with my children. I wonder, is there something about writing that makes people lead hard lives, or something about leading hard lives that makes people want to write, or just a fact that the majority of people have not led easy lives.

    1. Just today I was contemplating something similar, but only for composers. We began a biography about Franz Schubert, and apparently his family was not well off. The book references not having enough money for fuel to heat the house sufficiently. I began to wonder some of these same things you wrote about writers and hard lives, but in application to harder life/greater achievments...perseverence, drive, etc. Something to ponder...

  3. What a wonderful lesson, and it sounds happenstance. One of my favorite movies as a child was about Hans Christian Anderson. It's a musical and had the actor from White Christmas (not Bing Crosby).


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