'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Review: Hansel and Gretel

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel — the brother and sister abandoned in the woods by their father, who stumble across a gingerbread house and then find themselves at the mercy of an evil old woman. It's a classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, but it's also probably considered to be one of their darkest.

In this beautiful new edition, master storyteller Neil Gaiman has stayed true to the original version we know and love. However, in a fascinating couple of pages at the back of the book, we are also told how the story has evolved over the centuries, and how variations of it can be found in folk literature around the world.

Lorenzo Mattotti's illustrations are haunting. Starkly black and white, they lead readers into a shadowy world and, I must admit, might seriously unsettle some younger readers. Neil Gaiman's text flows easily, however, perfectly evoking that fairy-tale land where good and evil collide.

This would be a great gift for older children who have moved beyond the gentler, lighter versions of the classic fairy tales and are ready for something requiring a little more daring and courage.

Title: Hansel and Gretel: A Darkly Brilliant Fairy Tale
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Lorenzo Mattotti
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: November 2014
Format: Hardcover with jacket
ISBN: 9781408861981
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction

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