Thumbelina Meets the King of the Flowers
Reading Comprehension Activity

“Thumbelina” is a story about a tiny girl and was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen. This passage retells the part of the story when Thumbelina meets and marries the King of the Flowers. Students will answer questions on the details of the story after reading the passage.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Summary, Figurative Language. Genre(s): Prose

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“Oh, no. Oh, no,” cried Thumbelina. “I don’t want to marry Mr. Mole.”

Chipper the field mouse shook his head. “But, it’s your wedding day! There’s no way of getting out of it now.”


Bluebird swooped down. “Thumbelina, my dear friend. It’s been a long time. How have you been?”

“Bluebird! It’s so good to see you again,” said Thumbelina.

“She’s in trouble,” interrupted Chipper. “She has to marry Mr. Mole.”

“Hmm,” said Bluebird. He narrowed his eyes and thought a moment. “You’re so tiny, I can easily fly you away on my back.” He crouched down low to the ground.

Thumbelina jumped on the bird’s back. “Goodbye, Chipper. I’ll miss you.”

Off Bluebird and Thumbelina went.

They flew south until they came to a beautiful garden surrounding a huge lake. Bluebird settled down on a bush with snow white roses on it.

Suddenly, one of the roses opened wide and inside stood a tiny man, a little bigger than Thumbelina. He wore a gold crown and had tiny wings.

The moment he saw Thumbelina, he fell in love. “I’m the king of the fairies that dwell in the flowers. Please be my wife.”

Thumbelina’s heart leapt. “Yes, I’ll marry you!”

Bluebird nudged Thumbelina. “What about me?”

A smile spread across Thumbelina’s face. “You’ll stay with us of course.”

The king took Thumbelina’s hand. “You will be queen over all the flowers, and your friend will always be welcome here.”

“Fairies, come out!” commanded the king. “Please make my bride a tiny crown of gold and make her tiny wings of pink rose pedals.”

Hundreds of tiny fairies burst out from the flowers. They fluttered about and buzzed around Thumbelina. Then they were gone.

In a few moments, they reappeared.

“Here you are,” said an older fairy as she handed Thumbelina the crown. “Turn around so I can attach the wings to your back.”

“Ouch!” said Thumbelina.

The older fairy giggled. “Oops. Sorry. That happens sometimes with the wings. They’re perfect now though.”

“Thank you,” said Thumbelina. She put her crown on and wiggled her wings.

The king flew to another rose. “Fly to me,” he said to Thumbelina.

Thumbelina looked at the king. Then she looked at the ground. “I don’t think I can.”

“You can,” said the king. “Believe in yourself. Believe you can. Fly to me.”

Thumbelina gently flapped her wings. She looked at the king and jumped off the rose. “I’m flying! I’m flying!”

She flew to the king and landed next to him.

“Now it’s time for our wedding.” The king clapped his hands. “Fairies, please make my bride a gown of silk from the caterpillars’ cocoons.”

The fairies zipped this way and that way. They soon brought Thumbelina her gown.

The king held Thumbelina’s hands and kissed her. Then he raised their hands. “Meet your new queen!”

The fairies cheered and buzzed around the couple.

Tears welded up in Thumbelina’s eyes. She looked at Bluebird and all the fairies flying about. She looked at the king. “My heart is full.”

Comprehension Questions

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