The Nightingale

written by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

The story of a plain little bird whose beautiful songs bring her great fame, even winning her an esteemed place in the king's court. But she is not happy.

After saving the life of the king, the modest nightingale chooses to return to her peaceful life in the forest. The angry emperor replaces the nightingale with a jeweled mechanical imitation, but the little bird remains faithful and returns years later when the emperor is near death and no one else can help him.

Although the original tale is set in China, the magnificant illustrations have moved the action to Morocco. The lush, elaborate watercolor paintings feature the diverse peoples, rich costumes, and amazing architecture of Northwest Africa, and bring unusual depth to this telling.