HCA NEWS HCA's Fairytales for all Danish Sixth-graders

A new edition of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales to be issued to all Danish sixth-grade schoolchildren was today presented by Danish Minister of Education, Bertel Haarder at the Nyboder School in Copenhagen at noon. Chairman of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Mayor of Odense Anker Boye, also attended the presentation.

By tkr - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 03 March 2005

The special edition of selected Andersen fairytales, entitled H.C. Andersen: Eventyr (Hans Christian Andersen: Fairytales), has been published by the Gyldendal publishing house coinciding with the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the Danish storyteller on 2 April 2005. The publication of the fairytale book, which will be issued to all sixth-grade Danish schoolchildren, is sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Education and the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation.

The publication features 360 pages and 29 famous and lesser-known fairytales. Fairytales such as The Bell and The Galoshes of Fortune introduce children to entirely new aspects of the storyteller's enchanted world and challenge their reading abilities. The book also contains classics such as The Little Mermaid, The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep and The Ugly Duckling.

The book is as unique as the fairytales themselves and contains a personal letter to the schoolchildren from the Danish Minister of Education, Bertel Haarder. Flemming B. Jeppesen has created the 156 illustrations featured in this special edition.

Danish sixth-grade schoolchildren have been selected as the target group for two specific reasons. First of all because the children are of an age (i.e. 11-12 years old), which allows them to grasp and ponder new aspects and layers of the famous fairytales. And secondly, because sixth-grade schoolchildren need stimulating in order to nurture their future interest in reading.

Danish Minister of Education, Bertel Haarder, welcomes the initiative: 
"t is important to maintain and strengthen literary skills and the habit of reading. This magnificent fairytale book might help ensure that pupils become familiar with Hans Christian Andersen as part of Danish cultural heritage. The issues Andersen raises are basic and eternal. Although the fairytales are almost 200 years old, they are just as relevant as ever."

Chairman of the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Anker Boye, states:
"It is a great pleasure for the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation to help ensure that a new, wide audience is given direct access to Andersen, who can still teach us a thing or two about being human. But because Andersen belongs to a different day and age, new tools are needed to make Andersen seem more contemporary and close at hand. The new edition fulfils that mission wonderfully - with respect for the original Andersen, of course."

Coinciding with the publication, the Gyldendal publishing house has with sponsorship from the  Danish Ministry of Education launched an educational website www.hcandersen.gyldendal.dk which features inspirational educational resources on the life and world of Andersen.
Schoolchildren can study background material and fact sheets, and for teachers there is an extensive encyclopaedia featuring entries relevant to specific exercises available on the website as well as terms related to different analytical approaches and educational theories.

The fairytale book has been issued in 67,000 copies to be distributed in the weeks nine to eleven, to the Danish elementary schools as well as to schoolchildren in Greenland, Iceland, on the Faroe Islands and to the European Schools in Brussels and Luxembourg. Furthermore, the book will be issued to schools in Schleswig, south of the Danish-German border, and to Danish church missions abroad as well as Danish departments at foreign universities.

For further information, please contact:

Head of Communications Division at the Danish Ministry of Education, Nicolai Kampmann, Tel.: +45 3392 5092  
Consultant at the Danish Ministry of Education,
Nina E. Nielsen, Tel.: +45 3392 5488

Programme manager at the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation, Jakob Steen Olsen, Tel.: +45 6551 4902

Director for Children's literature at the Gyldendal publishing house,
Flemming Møldrup, Tel.: +45 3375 5555