Rummanah Aasi
  Fairy tales are more popular than ever. They inspire new adaptions in books/graphic novels, movies, and even TV shows. No matter how familiar you are to the story, each new retelling adds a new dimension to the characters and themes. Hansel and Gretel by Anthony Browne is no exception.

Description (from Amazon): This is a retelling of this famous, dark fairy tale from award-winning author-illustrator Anthony Browne. "Hansel and Gretel" is perhaps the darkest and greatest of the fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm. This extraordinary book brings the classic childhood tale to a new generation courtesy of one of the world's greatest picture book artists, Hans Christian Andersen Award-winner Anthony Browne.

Review: The Hansel and Gretel fairy tale is one of the most creepiest fairy tale that I've ever read. Anthony Browne's adaptation of the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tale quietly balances the light and dark aspects to the story. The text is faithful to the fairy tale, but the illustrations is what really stands out in this book. If there was no text in the book, the picture could have easily told the story. Life-like images painted with vivid colors provide more contextual information about the story. We really do get the sense of camaraderie and love between the two siblings as they are constantly drawn next to another another as shown in the cover of the book as well as their father's reluctance to follow his wife's orders. The evil stepmother shares a very eerie resemblance to the wicked witch in the forest. There are many symbols which are subdued in dark colors that older readers will easily spot the allusion and foreshadowing of the horrors that Hansel and Gretel will face. The scary parts of the story such as the children locked up in the witch's cage to get fatten and the witch burning are brief and short.  

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Due to the dark aspects of the story, I would recommend this picture book to Grades 2 and up who are more familiar with the story.

If you like this book try: Hansel and Gretel by Rika Lesser, Red Riding Hood by James Marshall, Rapunzel: A Groovy Fairytale by Lynn Roberts
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Hansel and Gretel is definitely a disturbing story. I can't imagine reading it to my kids and then sending them off to bed. Talk about nightmares. Did you see the new movie about them being witch hunters? Oh man. It was so bad it was awesome. I adored it.


  2. It has been a long time since I read Hansel and Gretel and I am not even sure I read the original. These fairy tales are definitely dark but I am surprised to hear this is the darkest. I must check this out soon!


  3. I do love a good retelling. This sounds like it is a good one. I will have to recommend it to my cousins. Sounds perfect for some little ones I know. :)


  4. I love fairytales and Hansel and Gretel is definitely one of the creepier ones. But think of all the yummy goodness waiting to be eaten from and in the witch's house! With my sweet tooth, I'd probably be one of those poor people she'd be able to lure :)


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