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Fantastical Reimaginings

Fantastical Reimaginings: “The Snow Queen”
Elizabeth B.

Whether you’ve been around small children belting out “Let it Go” or not, if I mention the words “fairy tale” and “snow queen,” you’ll probably picture “Frozen”: a magical girl runs from her kingdom into a wintery forest, singing about her newfound freedom…

The Snow Queen
Image from Wikipedia
 
Just kidding! That’s not “The Snow Queen.” At least, it’s not the original version, though I’m sure Hans Christian Andersen would love Disney’s “Frozen” just as much as the next person. The original story is one of my favorites. Like all the best fairy tales, “The Snow Queen” is way darker than you’d expect, full of sacrifice, heartache, attempted robbery and snow bees. Find out more about this story’s history and retellings below!

History
Hans Christian Andersen, Disney’s favorite Danish writer, is the hidden hand behind several fairy tale classics. If you’ve called yourself an “ugly duckling,” sung along with Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”, or watched “Frozen”, you’ve enjoyed one of Andersen’s 3,381 written works. Hans Christian Andersen’s life was no fairy tale, though. Psychologists speculate that Hans Christian Andersen suffered from bipolar disorder and he wrote many unrequited love letters to men and women. The fairy tales he wrote frequently deal with loneliness and unrequited affection – they may or may not end happily. Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” was first published in 1844 and remains one of his most popular stories.  

The Original
In Andersen’s original story, childhood friends Gerda and Kai are inseparable. They play together and listen to Gerda’s grandmother tell tales of the cold-hearted Snow Queen, ruler of the snow bees. When young Kai gets a shard of evil mirror in his heart and eye, Kai begins to avoid Gerda. He then meets the Snow Queen, who freezes his heart and takes him away to an icy palace. Gerda goes to save him. 
Of all of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, this is one of the wildest. There’s a bunch of demons who just – oops -  accidentally drop the world’s most evil magic mirror and break it. The Snow Queen can erase your memories, but so can ordinary gardeners. There’s talking ravens and surprise doppelgangers, a talking reindeer and bandits and a jigsaw puzzle made of shards of ice.
And at the heart of all of it, a question: when should you fight for a broken relationship or friendship, and when should you accept it’s over? Unlike many Andersen fairy tales, though, this story ends happily: Gerda saves Kai and cold winter gives way for spring.

“The Snow Queen” Retellings
So, how much has this classic fairy tale changed over the years? Are the retellings similar or impossibly different? Find out more about similar tales below!

***
 Disney's Frozen
Disney’s “Frozen”
Picture book available on Hoopla
“There’s beauty and there’s danger here…Beware the frozen heart.”
Sisters Elsa and Anna are separated when Elsa’s icy powers almost hurt her sister. As adults, Elsa hides her emotions and avoids Anna, who feels lonely and hurt by this change. When Elsa’s powers spiral out of control, she flees the kingdom and runs away to create an icy palace. Anna goes to save her, along with the help of Kristoff and his “talking” reindeer Sven.  
“Frozen” isn’t exactly like “The Snow Queen” - no children are kidnapped and the snow queen isn’t evil. Just like the original story, though, “Frozen” focuses on frozen hearts, talking reindeer and emotionally distant best friends. There’s even a fun homage to the original author and his frequent crushes: at her first ball, Anna meets and instantly plans to marry a red-headed prince named Hans.

***
 Breadcrumbs
“Breadcrumbs” by Anne Ursu 
Available on Hoopla
“People who come here looking for things…they don’t usually find what they want.”
Hazel and Jack have been best friends for years, but now that they’re entering middle school, he’s started ignoring Hazel, and wants to hang out with the other boys at school. Hazel knows that it’s not just them growing apart: it has to have something to do with that strange pain in Jack’s heart and eye at recess. And she’s right: Jack’s heart has been frozen. When he’s taken into a mysterious forest by a witch, Hazel follows to get her best friend back. 
“Breadcrumbs” starts much like Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale: a boy changes because of an evil magic mirror; he’s kidnapped; a girl follows him to save him. This story focuses on the youth of its protagonists: maybe it’s a witch, or maybe these changes are just part of growing up. Once Hazel enters the forest, the story begins to change: this forest is full of fairy tales, and Hazel’s journey won’t be nearly as safe or easy as she originally thinks.

***
 "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis
Available through Hoopla
“‘You have a traitor there, Aslan,’ said the Witch.” 
When Lucy and her siblings find a magical wardrobe to a land trapped in eternal winter, three of them meet talking badgers and magical beings. One brother, Edmund, instead meets the frozen land’s ruler: an icy sorceress in a magical sled who offers Edmund candy, kisses him, and tells him to bring his siblings to her. When Edmund fails to follow through on his bargain, the White Witch of Narnia comes for him instead.
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” has many elements that aren’t in the original “Snow Queen”: Hans Christian Andersen doesn’t write about lampposts, epic battles or talking lions. But the beginning of the story is still the same: when a boy is tricked and taken to a winter palace by an icy woman, those who love him must save him from a terrible fate.

***
"The Raven and the Reindeer" 
“The Raven and the Reindeer” by Ursula Vernon
Not available through library (yet!)
“Once upon a time, there was a boy born with frost in his eyes and frost in his heart.”
Gerta is in love with her best friend, Kay. Kay doesn’t seem to feel the same way, but that’s okay: even if he doesn’t talk with her in front of his friends or seek her out in his free time, he did kiss her once, and she knows the real him. Right? So when Kay is taken away by a beautiful and deadly snow queen, Gerta follows, determined to save him.
“The Raven and the Reindeer” follows the original tale closely: a frozen heart, a distant best friend, a talking raven, a far-reaching quest across the land. Ursula Vernon’s version of the fairy tale focuses on Gerta and Kay’s relationship: is their relationship an even one, or is Gerta’s affection unrequited? When Gerta meets a robber girl – a violent ally in Hans’ original tale, and a helpful one here – Gerta starts to question why she’s chasing after Kay and if he even cares about her the same way.
***

What’s your favorite “Snow Queen” retelling? Does Sven count as a talking reindeer? Should Gerta chase Kay, despite everything, or have I given Hans Christian Andersen’s hero a bad rap? I hope you enjoy these fairy tale retellings. Happy reading!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jun 26, 2020 at 12:56 PM
  
Learn It!

Do you know the stories in the stars? Join Aurora Parks, Recreation & Open Space naturalist Joy Thompson in exploring the lore of constellations - and maybe even find your story in the stars!



Join us for Stargazing with Julie live on Facebook on Tuesday, June 30 at 9 p.m. to see what you constellations you can find in the summer sky! 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jun 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM
  

(June 25th, 2020) This evening at approximately 8 p.m. Aurora Police Department Officers were called to the area of East 19th Avenue and North Oswego Street on a report of a shooting.  

 

When officers arrived on scene, they found a 24-year-old male unconscious, lying on the ground, and bleeding.  The male was transported to an area hospital where, unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries.  

 

The victim’s identity will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office once he has been identified and his next of kin have been notified.  

 

Investigators from the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit are on scene and actively investigating.  At this early stage in the investigation, it is unknown what led up to the incident and there is no suspect information.  

 

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call Agent Hansen 303.739.6710 or they can remain anonymous by contacting Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Agent Faith Goodrich
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by fgoodric@auroragov.org  On Jun 25, 2020 at 11:01 PM
  

UPDATE:  An arrest has been made in this case.   Stephen Minks-Morgan DOB 05/07/1994 has been arrested for First Degree Murder.

Minks-Morgan Booking Photo

Detective Faith Goodrich
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Information Previously Released on June 24th, 2020

(June 24, 2020) This evening at approximately 7:00 p.m. Aurora Police Department officers responded to a transient encampment near South Parker Road and South Peoria Street on a reported stabbing.


Upon officer’s arrival they located a 33-
year-old male victim suffering from puncture wounds.  The victim was transported to an area hospital where tragically he succumbed to his injuries this evening.

His identity will be released by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office once he has been positively identified and his next of kin have been notified.

 

At this time, a possible suspect is described as a white male in his mid-twenties, approximately 6’3” tall, 185 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.  Right now our investigation suggests this was an isolated incident between the victim and the suspect.  This continues to be an active and ongoing investigation.

This homicide is being investigated by the Aurora Police Department Major Crimes/Homicide Unit.  We urge anyone with information about this homicide to call Agent Prince
 at 303.739.6127.  Alternatively, tips can be sent to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) where your tips may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00 and you can remain anonymous.

Officer Crystal McCoy
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by ckmccoy@auroragov.org  On Jun 25, 2020 at 1:21 PM
  

(June 24, 2020) On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at approximately 4:27p.m, District 1 Patrol Officers responded to reporst of a shooting at the EZ Pawn, located at 797 North Peoria Street, which was called in by an employee.

 

Upon arrival, officers located two adult males inside of the business, each suffering from gunshot wounds. Both males were immediately transported to a local hospital where they have succumbed to their injuries. It appears that both males were shooting at each other. There were no other injuries to any store employees or bystanders.

 

At this time, we are not looking for any additional suspects and we do not believe that there is a danger to the general public. There were weapons that were recovered on scene and investigators will be reviewing surveillance cameras from both inside of the business and on the exterior to determine what led up to the shooting. 

 

The names of both victims will be released by the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office once the victims have been positively identified and their next of kin have been notified. 

 

Anyone with information about his case is asked to call Investigator Hunt with the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit at 303.739.6233. Tipsters can also call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using crime stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and be eligible for a REWARD of up to $2,000.

 

Officer Matthew Longshore

Public Information Officer

Media Relations Unit

720.432.5095

Posted by mwellslo@auroragov.org  On Jun 24, 2020 at 7:04 PM
  
Create & DIY for adults

Have an old t-shirt that you don't wear anymore, but just can't stand to part with? Give it new life as a upcycled bag! 



Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jun 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM
  
(June 23, 2020) This morning at approximately 12:12 a.m. Aurora Police Department officers responded to the Sable Cove Condominiums, located at 912 South Dearborn Way, on a report of a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Upon officer’s arrival they located a 33-year-old male in the parking lot suffering from a gunshot wound, who tragically was pronounced deceased a short time later. His identity will be released by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office once he has been positively identified, and his next of kin have been notified.

Currently, detectives with the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit (MCHU) are investigating this as a suspicious death. At this time there are no additional details that can be provided.

The MCHU is asking anyone who may have witnessed his death, or has any information related to this investigation to contact

Agent Krieger at 303.739.6113.Alternatively, tips can be sent to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) where they may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00 and you can remain anonymous.

Officer Crystal McCoy
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095
Posted by ckmccoy@auroragov.org  On Jun 23, 2020 at 6:17 PM
  
Draw It!

Grab a pencil and paper - it's time to Draw It! 📝 Our staff member Kristin shows how to draw a fierce dragon!



Show us your dragon in the comments and tell us what you'd like to draw next! 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jun 23, 2020 at 4:54 PM
  

(June 23, 2020) On June 23, 2020, at about 12:54 p.m., Aurora Police Officers were dispatched to a vehicle crash at North Peoria Street and East 33rd Avenue. When they arrived, they located a three-car crash with multiple injured parties.

Preliminary investigation shows that a silver Chevrolet Malibu was traveling north on Peoria Street and then, for an unknown reason, crossed over into the southbound lanes. The Chevrolet then crashed into a gold sedan and silver SUV. The adult female occupant of that Chevrolet died as a result of her injuries. The Adams County Coroner's Office will release the identity of the victim when positively identified and after next of kin notification.

The drivers of the other two vehicles in the crash had complaints of minor injuries.

Aurora Police Department Traffic Section is investigating this crash. Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call Detective Sangi at 303.739.6396.

 
Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by mwellslo@auroragov.org  On Jun 23, 2020 at 4:39 PM
  

(June 22, 2020) On Monday, June 22, 2020, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Denver police officers were following an armed carjacking suspect in a vehicle which led them into the city of Aurora. The carjacking originated in the area of East 48th Avenue and North Chambers Road.

The suspect drove the carjacked vehicle into the area of East 35th Place and Abilene Street when the suspect exited and began walking eastbound on East 35th Place. The Aurora Police Department was requested to respond to the area, emergent, to assist the Denver Police Department. The suspect was still armed with a handgun, was wearing a full-faced mask, and was being given clear, loud, verbal commands to drop his weapon. The suspect refused to drop his weapon and instead decided to raise it towards the officers. There was one Aurora Police Officer and five Denver Police Officers who fired their weapons. The suspect was pronounced deceased on scene shortly afterwards.

There were no injuries to any Aurora Police Officers nor Denver police officers and no members of the public were injured as a result of this incident.  Any further requests for information related to the involved Denver police officers should be directed to the Denver Police Department Public Affairs Office. Any inquires relating to the officer-involved shooting investigation will be directed to our agency. All involved uniformed officers were wearing their department issued body worn cameras.

In accordance with Senate Bill 15-219 members of the Aurora Police Department, Denver Police Department, and the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will investigate this officer-involved shooting.  Once this investigation is completed, it will then be presented to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for a criminal culpability review.

We are requesting all members of the public who were a witness to the events leading up to and after the officer-involved shooting to please contact Agent Frederickson at 303.739.6106 or by reaching out to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.

Officer Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by mwellslo@auroragov.org  On Jun 22, 2020 at 4:58 PM
  
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