One of the most beautiful of all fairy tales, the timeless appeal of The Snow Queen lies in its persuading us that life is truly magical. Andersen's wonderful language surfaces in Grandma's description of the Snow Queen—"On winter nights when we are asleep she flies silently through the streets and alleyways. Sometimes she stops to look through a window, and when you get up the window is covered with flowers of frost for she has breathed on the glass." The wicked Snow Queen casts her icy spell on the world, turns young Kay's heart to ice and takes him away as her eternal prisoner to her Ice Palace at the very top of the world. Gerda, Kay's friend, must journey forever north and brave many dangers in her attempt to save Kay and break Winter's grip. Gerda never gives up. She leads us through terrifying ordeals as well as endless fun and nonsense. A long the way Gerda encounters talking ravens, the evil Cobweb Spider, a prince and princess, a band of robbers and the wild robber-girl, greedy polar bears and the brave reindeer who carries Gerda across the artic wastes. This is a wonderful, fast-paced adventure story.