Thumbelina retold by Amy Ehrlich and illustrated by Susan Jeffers has been released in a few editions and it is a lovely rendition of Andersen's tale. As I was preparing this post, I berated myself for how often I neglect Thumbelina. I have to admit it has never been a favorite, but I think it is because I came to late for it. And, it is no secret, that many of Andersen's tales don't jibe well with my personal tastes although there are definite exceptions. Then I look at illustrations like these and others and think I need to get over myself and do more work with Thumbelina.
What I like best about Jeffers's version beyond the obvious artistry is that Thumbelina is older. I like that she is closer to a better age for marriage. Andersen, if he marries off his heroines, makes them rather young. That said, perhaps my favorite Thumbelina illustrations of all are Margaret Tarrant's. For some reason, they capture the whimsy of the tale for me and forego much of the darkness so I am happy with their simplicity.
That said, I love Jeffers' version as I do so many of her fairy tale illustrations. She has illustrated several. And now here are some of images for Thumbelina:
And more of Jeffers' work: