The Centre for Children's Literature, Denmark and HCA2005 hereby make a series of articles on Hans Christian Andersen, his life and his works, many of them with a pedagogical outlook, available for schools and whoever else that might be interested.

The articles are short and therefore suitable for being included in courses, among other things. They are all informative, and some of them also provide material for a discussion about how we can and should use Hans Christian Andersen in teaching.

All the articles can be used for free in non-commercial contexts. They can be handed out to teachers, parents and students, and they can be reproduced in publications issued by schools and municipal authorities, in professional periodicals etc, as long as the readers are informed of the name of the writer and the article is accompanied by the following statement:

The article has been made available by the Danish Centre for Children's Literature, whose Hans Christian Andersen Project is supported by HCA2005, the Danish state and the Bikuben Foundation.


Hans Christian Andersen gives nature a voice

By Ole Laursen, MA in Pedagogy, Teaching of Biology -

Hans Christian Andersen had a rare ability to be able to be carried away, filled with enthusiasm, joy and wonder at nature indeed, at the whole world. And he was able to write and tell in such a way that his enthusiasm and wonder still rub off on anyone who listens or reads with him.

With three specific examples as the starting-point, teachers of natural science are encouraged to organize one or more courses with Andersen's fairytales as their point of departure.

Did Hans Christian Andersen write for children?

By Professor Torben Weinreich - Center for Children's Literature

From 1835 to 1843, Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales were "told for children", as it said on the cover. From the very beginning, Andersen was very conscious of the fact that he wrote for children. But later in his career it annoyed him that people did not realize that some of the fairytales were also or exclusively written for adults.

Hans Christian Andersen - in which edition?

By Professor Torben Weinreich - Center for Children's Literature

Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairytales more than a hundred years ago, and they were translated into many different languages early on. This means that many of them are now hard to understand for children and youngsters. The question is: What is the best way of presenting Andersen's fairytales?

Hans Christian Andersen and childhood

By Senior Lecturer Helene Høyrup -

Andersen's poem The Dying Child (1825/27) is one of the first examples in world literature of a text told consistently from a child's point of view. In the 19th century children start to get their own voice in literature, for instance in Andersen and Lewis Carroll.

HCA and contemporary children's literature

By Professor Torben Weinreich - Center for Children's Literature

Hans Christian Andersen published his first Fairytales told for Children in 1835. But he was not the only author who wrote for children, nor was he the first, neither in Denmark nor in other countries.

The Europe of Hans Christian Andersen's time

By Benito Scocozza -

Hans Christian Andersen got to know Europe very well during his many travels to, among other countries, Germany, England, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. This was a Europe with wars, revolutions and epidemics. Andersen must have been quite courageous to set out on such travels - although we know he was also very cautious.

The fairytales as reading matter

By Helene Høyrup -

Why have Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales of all fairytales become such a widespread and durable success as children's literature? What qualities characterize them? You can point out many, but perhaps the most important one is that Andersen exceeds the limits laid down for earlier and contemporary children's literature.