Hans Christian Andersen's tales are full of ideas about God, angels, faith, the Bible, the afterlife, and sin. He constantly reflects on what it takes to get into heaven, the various wicked things people do, and the nature of God, love, and forgiveness. Considering that the author himself said the stories were for children, it seems remarkable that they are so preoccupied with the darker side of being human. People sin, he says, and darkness often lives in our hearts and souls. He clearly thinks that all humans are sinners and should live in fear of God, but he also keeps reinforcing the redemptive power of love and faith. Many of Hans Christian Andersen's stories end up with the characters in heaven. Although not exactly a Catholic, his views and expressed beliefs certainly inclined that way.
The downtrodden protagonist is not always "he". Sometimes it is a "she". Or equally often it may be a household object, or a flower, a tree, or an animal. Hans Christian Andersen's stories are fantasies, like dreams or visions. The object or creature will have a personality of its own, often showing a boastful or arrogant side; it will talk to other creatures or objects ... and then die. Sometimes the story does not even seem to be a moral fable; perhaps the object does not seem to have a bad side (but it will probably die nonetheless).
David Almond has won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award. Jutta Bauer from Germany is the winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Illustr...