I did a search for the highest-rated collections of Andersen fairy tales on Amazon, and then checked them all out from my local library. Even though this collection didn't show up in my Amazon list, I also checked it out. And I like it MUCH better than the others*, both for the translation and for the illustrations.
All my life I've felt lukewarm about Andersen's fairy tales. But they are so alive, vibrant and emotive in this collection that I now see why his works are so highly regarded. I'm a converted Andersen fan because of this book! I love it. It will make a beautiful addition to my library!
This translation is elegant and lyrical, yet very simple and conversational, just the way it is in the original Danish. Most of the other translations were either so complex and formal or so abridged and simplified that they didn't pull me in, but this one allowed me to immediately and vividly picture everything being described. The words are large and well spaced, not cramped together on the page, which draws me in even more, and which I would imagine a child would prefer as well.
Accompanying the words are beautiful full-page gold-leaf illustrations throughout, at least one per story. They remind me very much of the work of Gustav Klimt (who did "The Kiss") with some medieval touches as well. I think they match the stories perfectly, especially the colorful gold-leaf ornamentation, which to me parallels the richness of the details and depth of the emotions captured in the fairy tails.
AND this collection has FORTY fairy tales, more than most (or maybe all) of the other illustrated volumes.
*The other translations I perused are: Erik Haugaard, Lily Owens, Tiina Nunnally, Anthea Bell, Reginald Spink, Lucas/Paull, Sheila Black (abridged, yuck!), and Maria Tatar (annotated, which was REALLY distracting), and maybe some others.