Apart from the milkmaid’s donkey, no one paid much attention to the mighty thistle that lived just behind the hedge, outside of the seigniorial garden. Until the day that a beautiful Scottish lady of noble birth asked the son of the house to pick her a flower – such an honour for the thistle! It certainly merited being transplanted into a pot, or at least inside the garden! At least, that is what he thought... Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author, poet and artist. Celebrated for children’s literature, his most cherished fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Match Girl". His books have been translated into every living language, and today there is no child or adult that has not met Andersen's whimsical characters. His fairy tales have been adapted to stage and screen countless times, most notably by Disney with the animated films "The Little Mermaid" in 1989 and "Frozen", which is loosely based on "The Snow Queen", in 2013. Thanks to Andersen's contribution to children's literature, his birth date, April 2, is celebrated as International Children's Book Day.