Tag: birthday

5 Fairytales You Never Knew Were Written by Hans Christian Andersen

Happy birthday Hans Christian Andersen! The Danish author was a writer of plays, poems, and short stories but he is best remembered today for his collection of fairy tales, of which he wrote over 3381. Famous fairy tales he have wrote you should be familiar with: The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queenand Thumbelina. However, he wrote many more beyond those and they’ve sadly faded from the public eye. Here at five of Andersen’s more obscure fairy stale, all strange and wonderful.

 

5. ‘On the Last Day’

 

A picture of the grim reaper, a skeletal figure wrapped in a black cloak in a dark landscape.

Image Via Pininterest 

On the Last Day is a dark and surreal story about what one man witnesses after death. As the man follows Death into the afterlife, he witnesses strange and dream-like events. These include: a masquerade ball where animals poke out from beneath people’s clothing, black birds screaming at the man as he walks, and stones that cut his feet no matter where he runs. Eventually, the man figures out he is being punished for his wicked deeds in life and is shown forgiveness, allowed into the gates of Heaven.

 

4. ‘The Tinderbox’

 

A man climbs a tree with the help of an elderly witch

Image Via Hans Christian Andersen.com

In this story, a solider runs across an old witch as he returns home from war. The witch tells if he climbs a tree he will be rich, which he does and finds three chests guard by three different dogs. The witch gives him an apron for each dog and tells him if he places the dogs upon it, he will be able to pass by without being attacked. The soldier succeeds and finds a tinderbox among the chests. The witch refuses to tell him what it’s for and the soldier kills her. He lives in luxury for sometime with the riches in the chests, until his money runs out. The soldier strikes the tinderbox in frustration and discovers he can summon the dogs with it to do his bidding.

He uses the dogs to kidnap the princess but the queen finds out and sentences him to the gallows. Before being hanged, the soldier uses an excuse for a smoke to strike the tinderbox three times and the dogs appear, massacring the queen’s men. The soldier is proclaimed the new king and a feast ensues, the solider lording over his new position as his loyal dogs watch the kingdom’s people warningly.

 

3. ‘The Wicked Prince’

 

A well dressed prince stands on the garden stairs as a dog kneels near his feet

The Wicked Prince tells of a titular evil and selfish prince who is so bent on conquering the world that he turns to great evil to accomplish his dream. He sends out his army across the world, as they ravage everything in their path, destroying cities, villages, homes, everything in their way. The prince absorbs kingdoms into his empire and attains so much wealth and glory that he becomes master of the world. But he still isn’t satisfied and decides to conquer Heaven itself. He builds a giant ship, which is pulled by hundreds of eagles and flies toward the sun.

An angel appears and the prince opens fire on it but the bullets deflect and one drop of the angel’s blood smashes a hole in the ship, sending it crashing into the forest. The prince survives and builds a new army of ships but the angels send a swarm of gnats against him. The gnat bites his ear and the pain drives the prince mad. He goes insane and is mocked by his own men, the great prince conquered by an insect.

 

2. ‘The Garden of Paradise’

 

A picture of the garden of paradise where women in dresses parade about

Image Via American literature

A prince gets caught in a storm and takes shelter in a cavern. Inside, he finds a woman so strong and large she resembles a man. Her daughters arrive, pulled along by the Four Winds. The East Wind takes the prince to the Garden of Paradise, where a fairy tells the prince that she may not be touched. But he will be allowed to live there for 100 years if he resists the temptation to kiss her.

On the very first night, the fairy tempts the man and he realizes an eternity of suffering is worth a moment of bliss, he gives in and kisses her. The prince returns to Earth, now condemned to wander forever to atone for his sin.

 

1. ‘The Traveling Companion’

 

A court of kings and queens stands in a throne room

Image Via Hans Christian Anderson.com

This tale tells the story of a young wandering the world after his father has passed away. The man meets a mysterious stranger who becomes his traveling companion and they have a number of adventures together. Eventually, he sees the most beautiful princess in the world and falls in love with her, despite the little fact that she’s a complete psychotic murderer. If he fails to tell her what she’s thinking in three days, the princess will kill him. The prince goes through many trials to give her heart but manages to eventually tell her what she’s thinking of: a severed head! The prince is then instructed of how to cure her evil curse that makes her psychotic by his traveling companion and lives happily ever after with his new wife.

 

What are some of your favorite Hans Christian Andersen stories? Let us know! And happy birthday again to Andersen!

 

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

Happy Birthday Lois Lowry!

Today marks the birthday of renowned children’s book author Lois Lowry. Happy birthday, Lowry! Lois Lowry turns eighty-two-years-old today, bringing with her a long and renowned career for her writing. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Lowry’s father was a career military officer, an Army dentist, and Lowry traveled the world with her family due to his station. Following World War II, Lowry’s family settled down in Tokyo, Japan at a military housing complex. She attended a military school there before returning to the United States and marrying Donald Grey in 1956. Together, they had four children and Lowry completed her degree in English literature while raising her family. Suffering from hard times during her initial writing career, such as the death of her husband, Lowry wrote about serious issues in her chosen career, children’s literature, to help sustain herself.

The cover to the Giver featuring an old man looking over some trees against a black background

Image Via Amazon

The topic of addressing serious issues in children’s literature has characterized Lowry’s writing. Throughout her books, she has written about such topics as murder, terminal illness, questioning authority, and the Holocaust. Her famous novel, The Giver deals with a young boy living a community of conformity and lack of individuality learning to question his world and rebel against the systems that keep his world in check. Lowry’s work has received praise and criticism for the themes she chooses to tackle but her work has been massively influential. Lowry has won two Newberry Medals, for The Giver and Number the Stars. She was also a finalist for the Hans Christian Anderson award, the highest honor given to an author of children’s writing.

Other famous novels by Lois Lowry include Gooney Bird Green, Gossamerand Looking BackHowever controversial you might find her work, her influence on children’s media and refusing to hold back on mature themes just because of an audience’s age is something to be admired. Happy birthday, Lois Lowry! We hope its a wonderful one.

Featured Image Via Fatherly 

Summer Owens beside Dorothy Jones

Author Agnes Owens Celebrates 97th Birthday!

Did you know that just last week, Agnes Idella Jones Owens, affectionately called “Dorothy” by her friends and family, turned ninety-seven-year-old? You may not have heard her name, but you need to know her story because let’s face it: a lot has changed in America in the last hundred years, and ninety-seven-year-old Agnes Idella Jones Owens has lived through the most of it. The best part?

She has an impeccable memory too – on Amazon it’s written that “[h]er amazing memory recalls her life as early as three-years old and includes details like names and dates that most forget.”

Summer beside Dorothy Jones

Image Via Summerowens

That’s right—Amazon. Last year on October 3rd, Agnes ‘Dorothy’ Jones of Jackson, Tennessee published Look Who Done Come Up The Slip, with her granddaughter, Summer. Why, you may ask? Well, “I just thought I would let people know what I have lived through,” Dorothy told WBBJ TV.

And Dorothy has a pretty amazing story. At Amazon, the full description reads:

From a lost childhood to an emotionally abusive marriage and sad and shocking experiences in between, she had every reason to complain. However, Dorothy’s story is balanced by overcoming tremendous obstacles, a strong faith in God, love, and lots of family and funny memories. Her amazing memory recalls her life as early as three-years old and includes details like names and dates that most forget. A history book of sorts, Look Who Done Come Up the Slip provides insight not only into Dorothy’s life but also into the changes that have occurred in America over nearly a 100-year period.

Cover of "Look Who Done Come Up The Slip"

Image Via Amazon

For the sake of clarity, Dorothy told the stories while Summer actually wrote the book, but there’s no fear here. It’s not a Go Set a Watchmen situation – Summer and Dorothy are actually incredibly close. On her personal website, Summer recalls her own story and they’ve grown close over the years.

It all started in 1996 when Summer, at the age of 15, gave birth. Sadly, her own mother was terribly busy at raising “four younger children of her own” and, with no financial backing of her own, Summer had nothing.

Summer Owens with her son on graduation

Image Via Summerowens

But she wasn’t on her own. She had her grandmother, Dorothy, and from there their relationship grew. Summer writes that, “[m]y grandmother, in her seventies, was my babysitter while I went to school, stayed after school for meetings, and went to work.” Even more amazingly, come 1997, Summer “moved to Memphis for college” and “let [her] son stay with [Dorothy] for my first year”.

In her own words, this made it possible for Summer “to be a normal college student and get a great start”.

An adult Summer Owens

Image Via Summerowens

I guess the Amazon description is true—Dorothy has overcome tremendous obstacles and still came out a loving person.

And she’s still here with us. It was not even a week ago when Dorothy and her family came to a local restaurant to celebrate her birthday and her life story.

Dorothy Jones o her 95th birthday with her whole family

Image Via Summerowens

It was only two years ago on Dorothy’s last birthday when Summer wrote on her website, “I thank God for her, and I’m thankful she can enjoy my granddaughter and pose in our five generation photo. We are more than blessed to have her and look forward to celebrating her 100th birthday!”

And we’re thankful to have her story available to the public for another hundred years.

 

Featured Image Via Summer Owens

Madonna

Madonna May Be Queen of Pop But She’s Also an Amazing Author

Today is our Queen-for-ever Madonna’s birthday! Happy BIRTHDAY girl! Her extraordinary and inspiring music business has become a “needless-to-say” and here I would like to unfold another perspective on this diva.

 

What inspired Madonna to create picture books is Kabbalah fable stories. Enjoying the deeper meaning hidden in the simple stories, Madonna dedicated herself to creating the books in order to convey the importance of following your heart. 

 

 

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Image via madonnaunderground.com

 

 

Her first publication The English Roses (2003) sold 40 million copies and topped the Children Picture Books list at New York Times

 

Notablyall the royalties from the books are donated to the Spirituality for Kids Foundation. What a kind diva.

 

 

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Image via Amazon

 

Madonna’s The English Roses is a story of rivalry and friendship among schoolgirls in contemporary London. Four girls–Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, and Grace–are eleven years old and the very best of friends. They have sleepovers, picnics and ice-skating parties that exclude Binah, a beautiful girl whose seemingly perfect life makes them “green with envy.” However, when a feisty, pumpernickel-loving fairy godmother takes them on a magical journey, they learn to their great surprise that Binah’s life is not nearly as enviable as it had seemed.

 

This tale is cleverly told, with many teaspoonfuls of good humor. Children and adults alike engage with this story that celebrates friendship as much as it teaches compassion. Jeffrey Fulvimari’s illustrations are no less than stunning–they fill every page with vivacious black ink lines and gorgeous watercolor reminiscent of 1960s fashion sketches.

 

 

Madonna’s creativity is more than that, check her books out here!

 

Sincerely hope that our dazzling diva can keep her writing career! Happy Birthday to Madonna! <3

 

 

Featured Image Via Vancouver Sun