In this much-loved story, a tiny but beautiful girl grows from a barleycorn which has been enchanted by a witch.
While many people are aware of the song and the Disney movie, not so many have read the enchanting tale that inspired them. Adapted especially for children by Sue Reid, Thumbelina tells the story of a tiny but beautiful girl who grows from an ear of barley that has been cursed by a witch. She is only found when a woman kisses the barley flower, and is named Thumbelina on account of her being no bigger than a thumb. Thumbelina goes on a series of adventures including being kidnapped by a toad, proposed to by a mole and rescued by a swallow, before discovering her true destiny.
Sue Reid’s adaptation makes this story perfectly accessible for younger listeners. In the hands of acclaimed actress Anne Marie Duff, Thumbelina loses none of its original charm and Duff cheerfully inhabits each of the roles that she is presented with. Her characterisation of Thumbelina is both feisty and endearing, making the diminutive character more of a heroine than just a whimsical girl.
This version of Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale has magic by the bucket-load, offering younger listeners a chance to really lose themselves in the story. Adults who just ‘happen to be listening’ will be equally drawn in to a world where size doesn’t matter.