Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman

Hansel and GretelHansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely retelling of the classic fairy tale. It's targeted at young readers, but adults will enjoy it too, as Gaiman has a lovely way with words, and the stunning black and white illustrations (by Lorenzo Mettotti) add another dimension to the story.

Gaiman's take on the story differs a bit from the original. In this version, the father is quite reluctant to lose the children. We also see a bit of backstory, telling how the family came to be in such dire straights. And we also get a smidgen more information at the end than just the usual "and they lived happily ever after," which was a nice touch, I thought.

The witch is suitably scary, but probably not more so than in the original. The depiction of the children's captivity is quite well-done, showing just how desperate they are to get away. Hans' cunning and Gretel's bravery in executing their escape is fleshed out well. We also see the love the siblings have for one another.

Any fan of Gaiman's will want this for their collection, and any parents who like good stories for their children will also want this book. Gaiman's embellishments make for a much richer story than the original.

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