Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review: "Matchless" by Gregory Maguire

From the author of Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Son of a Witch,  and A Lion Among Men comes the re-telling of the classic story by Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Match Girl. Originally broadcast on Christmas Day 2008 on the National Public Radio, Matchless has been made into a book with illustrations by the author just in time for Christmas 2009.

Matchless is the story of Frederik, the young son of the seamstress to the Queen. On Christmas Eve the Queen tears her dress for the ceremonies and his mother is called out to fix it. Frederik wanders the streets in search of accessories for his play village in his attic, and comes across a slipper abandoned in the streets. He takes it home, thinking that it would be a perfect boat for his villagers and finds a key inside the slipper with an address attached. Going to the address with his mother to return the key he finds that the owner of the slipper has frozen to death. All is not lost, though, as the little girl's father and Frederik's mother end up marrying and a new family is created.

I read this short book over four nights with my 10-year-old son. He reads a lot on his own, but I thought that it would be nice to share this holiday classic with him. He enjoyed it, and I did as well (I especially enjoyed the extra time that we had together). I love the re-imagining of classics, and I love that by re-imagining them we can bring forgotten classics back into the hands of both children and adults.

Matchless is on sale now, in a beautiful hardcover version. It would make a great addition to your holiday bookshelf. Thanks to Deanna at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy!


  1. I have been wanting to read this as I love Maguire's other books. Your review just makes me want to read it more. Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm so glad you liked this and that you were able to enjoy it with your son. I read it and really liked it too.