The Emperor's New Clothes
H.C. Andersen; Story re-Grace De La Touche
. Grandreams Limited . London
PZ8.D453Em 1993 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This small (6" x 8½") book of only 20 pages does one thing I find seldom in representing this famous story. Its last lines are: "But the Emperor is a wiser man now, and spends a lot more time with his advisors and far less with his tailors." Good! This emperor changes clothes so often that he keeps the city's weavers, tailors, cobblers, and silk merchants busy. News of his love for clothes spreads to two "shady characters" in a distant kingdom. "Could we fool the Emperor who loves new clothes?" "Let's try." When they see the emperor, they make lots of claims for their cloth: it shimmers various colors; it feels like silk but is as warm as wool; it is as light as air. The Chamberlain is sent to check on their progress. "Only the truly clever and brilliant can see the cloth. Most people would see an empty loom." At first this emperor wants his tailors to make a suit of this cloth, but the "shady characters" impose on him to let them make the suit. During the parade a small boy asks "What suit?" The emperor is then ashamed. He knows he has been made to look a fool. The thieves had long since left town with their bags of gold. "Probably laughing all the way!" Lively colored cartoon illustrations with a nicely naked king in the last scene, protected only by a towel held up by a courtier. Notice that this version does not have the king wanting the special cloth because it supposedly would give him insight into who is foolish. Good! This is the best told version I have found.