September 14, 2017

Hansel & Gretel by Holly Hobbie

Hansel and Gretel is a German tale first published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm and remains very popular to this day. The story involves two young children who are deserted by their father and stepmother deep in the woods. Lost and hungry, they are lured into a house made of cake and candy. The homeowner is an old, evil witch who poses as a kind and gracious host but by next morning she reveals her true self and captures the siblings with the intent of eating them. In the beginning of the story, Hansel appears to be more of the thinker and active in the siblings escape from peril but it is Gretel who outwits the witch in the end.

This version of Hansel and Gretel by Holly Hobbie is adapted from Grimms' Tales for Young and Old translated by Ralph Manheim (1977). The text has been shortened with the focus being the wonderful illustrations. Ms. Hobbie uses watercolours, pen and ink and gouache for her twenty-two paintings in this book. The mood is subdued with effective use of shadow and light. The darker aspect of this story may have been written to warn children about trusting strangers. Recommended for ages 5+.

Amazon | Book Depository
Little, Brown and Company 2015
Hardcover 32p
10.4" x 10.2"
Hansel and Gretel CoverHansel and Gretel at dinnerHansel and Gretel arrive at the gingerbread houseWitch tells Gretel to go inside stove

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