by Sibylle von Olfers
first published in 1905 in Germany
English translation by Polly Lawson – Edinburgh: Floris Books, 2005
Ages: 2 +
Interests: fairies, princesses, snow, winter, parties, magic
Also by this author: The Story of the Root Children (1906), Princess in the Forest (1909), and The Story of the Wind Children (1910)
You might also like: Peter in Blueberry Land (1901) – very similar in story, style and look
One day when her mother is out, little Poppy looks out the window and sees that the snowflakes are little, dancing snow children. She goes out to see them and they take her in a silver sledge to visit the Snow Queen. Arriving in time for the Princess’s birthday party, Poppy has a fine time in the ice palace until it’s time to go home.
Very similar to Elsa Beskow’s books written at the same time, this is a gentle fairy story suitable for the very young. No troubles or worries, just a lovely excursion into a magical world. At the end her mother greets her at the door with arms outstretched and a mild “You’re back at last.”
Sibylle von Olfers (1881-1916) was born in a castle in East Prussia, became a nun and art teacher, and wrote and illustrated a number of children’s books before dying of a lung infection at the age of thirty-four.
This book is lovely for two-year-olds, but will also enchant older children who are ‘into’ the fairy thing. (Though strictly speaking, the Snow Children aren’t fairies, exactly.)