Recommended by Hettie Duncan (Education & Outreach Coordinator)

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Anderson

This is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It is about two weavers who make the emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. In reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new ‘clothes’, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen to be stupid.

‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ was first published with ‘The Little Mermaid’ in Copenhagen, by C. A. Reitzel, on 7 April 1837, as the third and final installment of Andersen’s ‘Fairy Tales Told for Children’. The tale has been translated into 100 languages.

This was one of our stories in the recent youtheatre production of Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Beasts and Beauties’. It’s such a fun, ridiculous story.