Thumbelina Animated Cover

A Thumbelina Short Story & Audiobook

A girl as small as a thumb goes on a great big, magical adventure.

Read myself


Once upon a time, a very long time ago, a lady sat in her rocking chair. She was thinking how much she would love to have a little baby.

One bright and sunny day she was in her garden. Suddenly she saw a beautiful flower fairy sitting on a sunflower.

A purple haired fairy sits on a big yellow sunflower.

The lady said, “Hello, I have never seen anyone like you before.”

The flower fairy said, “You seem like a very kind person. I can grant you a wish. Would you like that?”

“Oh, yes please,” said the lady, “I long to have a little baby to call my own.”

The flower fairy gave her a magic seed. “Look after this magic seed properly and give it your love. Then you will get your wish,” the fairy said.

The lady planted the seed in a pot. She gave it plenty of sun and water. It wasn’t long before the seed grew into a pretty yellow tulip.

Inside the tulip was a lovely, tiny girl. She had smooth yellow hair and sparkling green eyes. She was really tiny and was about the same size as the lady’s thumb.

A woman looks into a pink flower. Inside the flower is a long yellow haired girl.

“I think I will call you Thumbelina,” said the lady, “I’m your mother now and you are my little girl.”

The lady made her the most beautiful little dress out of golden threads.

Every day, Thumbelina helped her mother with the housework. Thumbelina sang while they worked. She loved singing and had a lovely voice! Thumbelina and her mother were very happy.

One day, a frog heard Thumbelina singing. He loved her voice so much. He thought if she lived with him, he could always hear her sing!

That night, the frog hopped in through the window. He quietly picked up the walnut shell, which Thumbelina used to sleep in.

A frog hops holding a lily pad like an umbrella.

The next morning, Thumbelina woke up. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Her walnut shell bed was sitting on a lily pad in the middle of a pond!

She did not want to live with the frog. He was all slimy and all he ever said was, “Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!” Thumbelina cried and cried.

A fish heard Thumbelina crying. He felt very sorry for her. When the frog wasn’t looking, the fish chewed through the stem of the lily pad. The lily pad floated away.

Thumbelina thanked the fish and waved goodbye. She floated along to the other end of the pond.

Soon, she came to a small town of water beetles. They were not very nice to little Thumbelina. “Look how ugly she is,” the beetles said, “she’s only got two legs and no wings!”

Thumbelina sits on a lily pad in the middle of a pond. Blue water beetles circle her.

Thumbelina did not stay very long with the mean beetles. She drifted down the pond again until she came to a green field.

She spent the hot summer season in the field. She ate nectar from the flowers and water from the buttercups. She was very happy.

Summer changed into autumn and it started to get cold. A friendly field mouse invited the little girl to stay in her warm and cosy little home. Thumbelina gladly said yes.

One day she was happily singing and Mister Mole heard her. He decided that he wanted her to live with him so he could always hear her sing.

But she thought that was a horrible idea. He lived underground and she wouldn’t like that one bit.

In the middle of the winter, Thumbelina met a swallow that wasn’t very well. She loved birds with all her heart. She looked after the bird until it got better.

“Would you like me to take you far away from here?” the swallow asked Thumbelina, “then you won’t have to stay with Mister Mole!”

“Oh, yes please,” said Thumbelina.

She was so tiny that she climbed onto the swallow’s back and off they flew. They flew high above lakes and hills. Thumbelina held on tight.

Thumbelina sits on the back of a large blue bird. They fly above a river and mountains.

Then the swallow landed right by his nest close to a field. The meadow was warm and there were lots of the prettiest flowers you’ve ever seen.

“I will live in my nest,” said the swallow, “and you can live in one of these flowers”.

The swallow flew her over to the prettiest flower in the field.

In the middle of the flower stood the handsome fairy king. He was exactly the same size as Thumbelina. He had a crown made of the tiniest flowers on his head.

As you can imagine, Thumbelina and the fairy king became the very best of friends. And when she made friends with all the other flower fairies she was as happy as can be.

Thumbelina and lots of fairies stand beneath colourful flowers and grass.

One day she asked the swallow to take her back to her mother. Off they flew and when they landed in the garden her mother was so glad to see her.

“I’m home, mother,” said Thumbelina.

Thumbelina told her mother all about her adventures.

And the tiny girl and her mother lived happily ever after.

The End


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Can you read this story for free?

Yes! You can read this modern retelling for free. Our story retellings closely follow the original storylines and add modern twists in the illustrations.

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You can choose to experience this story read aloud or you can read it yourself.

Is this a good bedtime story?

This is a great example of a bedtime story. It’s nostalgic for parents and has a happy ending for kids. That’s if they make it to the end of the story before falling asleep!

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When we first decided to create a bedtime story for kids, we knew we wanted it to be fun, engaging and high quality.

We wanted Sooper Books to bring children's publishing into the 21st century. We strongly believe that nighttime stories for kids need to fit seamlessly into modern family lives which is why our free stories are all online.

It began when we started writing stories for our own family. Then our friends and wider families asked for copies and we started to share Sooper Books with other children.

At Sooper Books we write, curate and narrate stories for kids so they can enjoy the best quality content, enchanting stories and magical adventures. With our stories we work towards promoting a positive attitude to reading and instill a love of books in children from an early age.

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