The Steadfast Tin Soldier
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Written by Hans Christian Anderson
Retold and Illustrated by JooHee Yoon
There were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers. They were all brothers, born of the same old tin spoon. … All looked exactly alike except one. He looked a little different as he had been cast last of all. The tin was short, so he had only one leg. …. But just you see, he'll be the remarkable one.
So begins Andersen's classic tale of good and evil; purity and personality; fate and grace. In this boldly-illustrated contemporary retelling, Yoon takes on the harshness and poignancy of the story, leaving readers with the sense that nothing is ever lost—it just changes shape and continues anew.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier is the first story Andersen wrote without a folktale source or literary model, so it stands as a completely original work of the imagination, which changed the fairytale genre for all time.
9" (W) x 11" (H) • 64 pages • HC
Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 1-6
Lexile Level: 910
Guided Reading Level: P
AWARDS AND REVIEWS
★ "Colored in bold reds, blacks, and grays, Yoon's angular mixed-media prints highlight the soldier's stoicism and the perils he faces." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
"Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic tale of love, loyalty, and loss, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, is retold by Joohee Yoon using classic printmaking artistry with an avant-garde edge. In gray scale with vivid scarlet splashes, the story of the soldier and the ballerina unfolds, maintaining all the tragic dignity of the original while infusing a fresh and thrilling air of suspense and emotion, ideal for those experiencing the tin soldier’s journey for the first time or the fiftieth." ―Foreword Reviews
"Yoon faithfully retells Andersen’s literary fairy tale in sober prose and dazzling illustrations, created by hand drawing, relief printing, and computer techniques. The story of the one-legged toy soldier who falls in love with a paper ballerina and accidentally embarks on a series of adventures certainly has its grim moments, and Yoon’s art―with its layered patterns and textures, limited palette (red, black, and gray), and dynamic perspectives―revels in these. ... Yoon’s art, with its intentionally static feel despite all those eye-catching patterns, evokes the heart of Andersen’s tale: the tragedy of the soldier’s steadfastness and enforced passivity." ―Katrina Hedeen, The Horn Book
”…absolutely stunning.” —Sally Morgan, The Curious Reader (Glen Rock, NJ)
”This tale has love, envy, adventure, and the traditional tragic Andersen ending. Yoon has retold the story for a new generation of readers and illustrated it with her distinctive graphic-style mixed-media art. Done with a limited palette, the intense visual elements complement the high drama of the plot, and the detail and use of perspective are exquisite. There are many other picture book versions of this story, yet Yoon brings a fresh look and an accessible narrative. … This imaginative and appealing interpretation of the classic story is a must-have for any fairy-tale collection.” —Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, School Library Journal
”I’m such a sucker for everything that [JooHee Yoon] makes, and this didn’t disappoint. She perfectly achieves a captivating story using black, white, red, and silver in graphic shapes, texture, and a beautiful style.” —The Reading Ninja