HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. `It doesn't matter if you're born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan's egg!' (from `The Ugly Duckling') This collection brings together some of Hans Christian Andersen's most popular fairy tales - including `The Little Mermaid', `The Ugly Duckling' and `Thumbelina' - in a celebration of one of the world's most widely recognised children's authors. With universal themes and dark humour at their heart, these moralistic tales have delighted readers since first publication in the nineteenth century and continued to be well loved today. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, a storyteller of great importance to Western literature, have inspired many films, ballets and plays, and entertained generations of children and adults alike.