By Hans Christian Anderson
Illustrated by Fred Marcellino
Published by Harper Collins 1992
A little boy, probably at the turn of the Century, receives a box of tin soldiers for Christmas. One of those soldiers only had one leg. This tin soldier falls in love with a paper ballerina, who looked like she also always stood on one foot. The tin soldier is neglected and uncared for, and as a result, goes on a harrowing journey out the window, through the sewer, into a fish, and into the kitchen. The tin soldier is then thrown into the fire, and simultaneously, a draft blows the paper ballerina into the fire with him. Together at last, the soldier melts and the ballerina burns, until all there is left is a heart-shaped lump of tin and a jewel from the dancer’s sash.
This book is a good seasonal book for Christmas as well as applicable for elementary aged kids. Older kids in world history could also use the book to establish the manner of dress and behavior from a society outside their own.
Awards: Books for Youth Editor’s Choice