A contemporary take on the classic fairy tale, Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor is perfect for middle grade readers. The easygoing voice of the character is one that readers will identify with, and the modernization of the story will keep them interested.
The book begins with Thumbelina’s mother, Anne Marie, who is desperate for a child. She is seen handing over her life savings to a witch. Anne Marie gets her child, and as we all know, this child is so small that her mother names her Thumbelina. The bulk of the tale follows Hans Christian Anderson’s well-known version of the fairy tale, with excerpts and drawings from Thumbelina’s diary added into the story. However, this version is a little more kick-butt, with some girl power included, with an epilogue that ties up all of the loose ends.
A wonderful read for younger middle grade readers, this story will resonate with girls who feel like their parents are too overprotective. Also great for kids who love the illustrated novels of late, as Thumbelina’s diary entries and sketches are just too cute for words!
*A note on the physical book. I love, love, love the lack of a jacket on this. The lime green hardcover has an embossed cover with white writing and a blue illustration. It really catches your eye and will hold up well in kids’ bookbags; no worrying about the jacket ripping or getting lost!