It’s never too late if you really want to learn.

I’ve talked about Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara’s Little People, Big Dreams series many times before on this blog. And it should come as no surprise that I picked up her Hans Christian Andersen story as well. I think the thing I love about this series of books so much is that there’s almost always something new to learn. And maybe this is a call out to how little I know about all these amazing people of the past…but it’s still fun to learn about them all the same.

They had one precious jewel that they kept carefully in the cupboard: a book.

Oh my goodness, I could cry at how much I loved reading the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s life in this format. It was heartbreaking and inspirational in ways I personally had not imagined. And Vegara does a beautiful job of weaving all the pieces together. Honestly, I think if I were to ensure I owned any of her books, this would be my number one.

Hans was a storyteller from the beginning and that is something that I hold so dear to my heart. I guess it’s really no surprise that I fell quite hard for this book.

Hans spent his free time writing.

Ah, me too, Hans. Me too.

Okay, but for real…I don’t love the artwork. And, to be fair, I’ve never fallen in love with any of the artwork for these books. I really put this down to the fact that it’s just not my style at all. But it’s consistent throughout the series despite having multiple illustrators, this one featuring the artwork of Maxine Lee-Mackie.

I wouldn’t say there’s anything wrong with the artwork. It’s definitely bright and beautiful. But I just don’t care for it personally. And I don’t really expect that to be the rule for anyone else. In fact, I kind of think a lot of kids will adore it. I mean, just look at how bright-eyed and eager Hans looks!

It was full of misspellings, but he found it just delightful.

So, this is the part where I, as an educator who has regularly worked with kids who make multitudes of spelling mistakes (largely phonetic), the fact that Hans Christian Andersen persevered through his dream to tell and write stories despite struggling with writing and needing to go back to school at a much older age is so amazing. I legitimately do think that I will, at some point, buy a copy of this book for one of my kiddos.

There’s something truly heart-warming to find someone who has struggled but was still able to succeed and recognize a piece of yourself in them. Especially in something like this. And I just…it gives me feels. I can’t even imagine how much it might mean to someone who’s struggled in their own school.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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