Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
  • Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm
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Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

5.0 1
by Kate Coombs, Brothers Grimm, John Nickle, Wilhelm Grimm
     
 

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A classic tale of love and acceptance from the Brothers Grimm is beautifully rendered in this magical retelling.

Hans is an unusual boy. Born a hedgehog from the waist up, he knows what it’s like to truly be an outcast. Even his amazing fiddle playing can’t help him fit in. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his

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Overview

A classic tale of love and acceptance from the Brothers Grimm is beautifully rendered in this magical retelling.

Hans is an unusual boy. Born a hedgehog from the waist up, he knows what it’s like to truly be an outcast. Even his amazing fiddle playing can’t help him fit in. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his music to keep him company. But then a most unusual thing happens: When Hans crosses paths with two kings with two lovely daughters, his luck starts to change. Will this lonely soul find true love after all?

This lively and lyrical retelling of the classic Grimm’s tale, paired with lush, detailed illustrations, reminds us of the power of music, the importance of belonging, and the transformative effect of love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a feat that may astound fairy tale cognoscenti, Coombs (The Runaway Dragon) and Nickle (Never Take a Shark to the Dentist) transform a once-prickly story into something witty and warm. The Grimms’ half-boy/half-hedgehog Hans is a shrewd bagpipe player; rejected by his parents, he rides away on a rooster to tend pigs, which he later sends to slaughter. This version’s likable Hans is an accomplished fiddler with loving parents, who retreats alone into the woods (riding his rooster and accompanied by attentive hogs). On two occasions, Hans’s music helps rescue kings who have become lost in the forest. Assisted by his loyal rooster and pigs, Hans visits each ruler’s castle and, on his second try, meets a princess who is willing to marry him (and, perchance, lift his curse, “Beauty and the Beast” style). Nickle’s jewel-tone acrylics, painted on parchment-colored backdrops and interspersed with spiky ink-black silhouettes, conjure an Elizabethan ambience. Coombs includes an afterword to highlight her welcome revisions. Whether readers know the original, there is joy in watching this plucky Hans triumph. Ages 5�8. Agent: Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
* "Hans breaks from old-school fairy-tale renderings as a contemporary character; he’s cute, comical and soulful. Prickly, a bit funny and a bit dark: classic Grimm, modernized."—Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)

"Coombs’ adaptation is eloquent and intricate, while Nickle’s richly hued illustrations have a classic flavor and feature varied perspectives, silhouettes, inset cameos, and lighthearted flourishes, like Hans’ challenge in getting dressed. An author’s note provides background and story inspirations."—Booklist

* “In a feat that may astound fairy tale cognoscenti, Coombs and Nickle transform a once-prickly story into something witty and warm. Whether readers know the original, there is joy in watching this plucky Hans triumph.” –Publishers Weekly, (STARRED REVIEW)

“This vibrantly illustrated retelling of an obscure fairy tale transforms a boy born with the upper body of a hedgehog from a beastly oddity into a sympathetic protagonist. Perfect for storytimes and possibly a jumping-off point for age-appropriate discussions about ostracism.”—School Library Journal

“This twisty mash-up of “The Princess and the Frog” and “Beauty and the Beast” introduces a spirited hero who handles his misfit status well, even if he does resort to a smattering of revenge. Creatures with quills, no matter how sweetly illustrated, are bound to be a bit testy.”—The New York Times

“A wonderfully imaginative story of loneliness, courage, and ultimately love, this selection is terrific.”—Sarasota Herald-Tribune

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This vibrantly illustrated retelling of an obscure fairy tale transforms a boy born with the upper body of a hedgehog from a beastly oddity into a sympathetic protagonist. Hans, a stout figure with fuzzy spines that resemble bushy red hair, takes to the forest when the village children ignore him. There, he rescues two different kings, each of whom promises him a reward. The design of the book evokes the air of traditional fairy tales through the Old English-style font, the parchmentlike texture of the pages, and illustrations that are occasionally framed in darkened ovals to suggest old-fashioned portraits. The narrative retains the tone of classical Grimm stories, but the language, despite some difficult vocabulary words ("rootling," "retinue"), is much more accessible to young readers. Details like the giant red rooster Hans rides or his herd of pigs, whose dancing, cavorting, and mischief-making will amuse readers, suggest a surreal playfulness as he tries to claim his rewards. The frequent use of black in the acrylic artwork—as both a backdrop and in silhouettes—allows the colorful palette to pop in contrast. Unlike the bloodthirsty, vengeful character of the original tale who mutilates the daughter of the king who tricks him, this Hans is easier to identify with: he opts instead to take the dishonest king's gold as payment before marrying the daughter of the second king and becoming human. Perfect for storytimes and possibly a jumping-off point for age-appropriate discussions about ostracism.—Mahnaz Dar, formerly at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Hans, half hedgehog and half human, lives as a hermit, deep in a forest with a rooster steed and an entourage of pigs, happily playing his fiddle, until two kings make promises that send him looking for his just reward: a princess. This unusual Grimm adaptation utilizes traditional fairy-tale treatments (lyrical language, graceful lettering) alongside innovative artistic choices (embedded paneling, sharp spot art). Inset oval illustrations, framed with blurred edging, draws eyes, while coal-black silhouetted scenes contribute to storytelling, adding even more depth to rich acrylic illustrations. Flecked, smudged backgrounds look like fibrous paper and complement the pictures' prevalent, ripe oranges, yellows, reds and blues. Plump, puppetlike people might seem dated, but Hans breaks from old-school fairy-tale renderings as a contemporary character; he's cute, comical and soulful enough to seem both freakish and sad. To older children, just seeing lines drawn between insiders and outsiders, between the attractive and unattractive, Hans' story seems grave. While the ending is completely expected, readers can't help loving it and even giving up a little gasp. When a kind princess inspires magical music from Hans' fiddle, he transforms into an entirely human hottie—and even looks like his old spiky self, with red tufted hair and a scratchy beard! Prickly, a bit funny and a bit dark: classic Grimm, modernized. (author's note) (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-10)
Pamela Paul
Kudos to Kate Coombs…and John Nickle…for dusting off the story of a lonely swine-boy with a musical sensibility, his rooster steed and a forest full of dancing pig friends…this twisty mash-up of "The Princess and the Frog" and "Beauty and the Beast" introduces a spirited hero who handles his misfit status well, even if he does resort to a smattering of revenge.
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Hans, half boy and half hedgehog, is born to a farm couple that have longed for a child. But he has a special friendly relation only with the pigs. He becomes a fiddle player, but is still shunned and left alone. Hans decides to ride away into the forest with his pigs. When he leads a lost king home, the king reneges on his promise to give Hans the first thing he sees, his daughter. When Hans takes a second lost king home, and he sees this king's daughter, she agrees to honor the promise. Hans then aids an old woman, who reminds him of the two promises. With his pig army, Hans goes to the first king. When the king refuses his daughter, the pigs wreck his palace. Hans doesn't want that princess, but takes half the king's fortune. The stage is then set for the magical happy ending with the second king and princess. Nickle's naturalistic acrylic portrait of Hans on the jacket depicts the elegant if oddly composed youngster playing his violin. The single and double-page scenes plus many vignettes offer details of landscape along with the dramatic characters that engage him. The settings and costumes suggest the European location. The author adds a note on how she has altered the original story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416915331
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,126,099
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
* Hans breaks from old-school fairy-tale renderings as a contemporary character; he’s cute, comical and soulful. Prickly, a bit funny and a bit dark: classic Grimm, modernized."—Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)

"Coombs’ adaptation is eloquent and intricate, while Nickle’s richly hued illustrations have a classic flavor and feature varied perspectives, silhouettes, inset cameos, and lighthearted flourishes, like Hans’ challenge in getting dressed. An author’s note provides background and story inspirations."—Booklist

* “In a feat that may astound fairy tale cognoscenti, Coombs and Nickle transform a once-prickly story into something witty and warm. Whether readers know the original, there is joy in watching this plucky Hans triumph.” –Publishers Weekly, (STARRED REVIEW)

“This vibrantly illustrated retelling of an obscure fairy tale transforms a boy born with the upper body of a hedgehog from a beastly oddity into a sympathetic protagonist. Perfect for storytimes and possibly a jumping-off point for age-appropriate discussions about ostracism.”—School Library Journal

“This twisty mash-up of “The Princess and the Frog” and “Beauty and the Beast” introduces a spirited hero who handles his misfit status well, even if he does resort to a smattering of revenge. Creatures with quills, no matter how sweetly illustrated, are bound to be a bit testy.”—The New York Times

“A wonderfully imaginative story of loneliness, courage, and ultimately love, this selection is terrific.”—Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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Meet the Author

Kate Coombs is the author of The Secret-Keeper. She has worked as an editor and as an English composition teacher at various colleges in Chicago and Los Angeles. She currently teaches in Los Angeles, where she lives.

John Nickle is the illustrator of Things That Are Most in the World and Never Take a Shark to the Dentist, both written by Judi Barrett. He is also the author and illustrator of Alphabet Explosion and The Ant Bully. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago