Hansel and Gretel

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One of the oldest and most treasured folktales in the world, Hansel and Gretel resonates deeply with young readers. Now Jane Ray revives this venerable story with a retelling that preserves the power of the tale. Her rich illustrations destine it to be a classic to be enjoyed by children for many years to come. Full color.

A retelling of the well-known tale in which two children are left in the woods but find their way home despite ...

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Overview

One of the oldest and most treasured folktales in the world, Hansel and Gretel resonates deeply with young readers. Now Jane Ray revives this venerable story with a retelling that preserves the power of the tale. Her rich illustrations destine it to be a classic to be enjoyed by children for many years to come. Full color.

A retelling of the well-known tale in which two children are left in the woods but find their way home despite an encounter with a wicked witch.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With a sumptuous setting that often looks good enough to eat, Ray (The Twelve Dancing Princesses) makes this Brothers Grimm tale her own. Abandoned in the woods by order of their stepmother, Hansel and Gretel eventually find their way homebut not before a psychedelic stay in the candy cottage of a devious witch. Ray's resplendent villainess is an intricate mix of kabuki, mime and Indian detail. She sports a white mask, peacock feathers in her hair, Persian slippers and elaborate Indian henna patterns on her hands. Her glowing red eyes are appropriately frightening, but Hansel and Gretel make a quick escape here, enduring very little suffering. Although Ray's depiction of the protagonists is somewhat inconsistent (at times, Hansel and Gretel appear to be adolescents clutched in an embrace rather than youngsters huddling in fear as depicted in other scenes), their resourcefulness and cleverness remain steady. Ray's well-paced version contains plenty of suspense and intrigue. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Ray's lush and very ornate illustrations done with watercolor, gouache, ink, pencil, collage and enhanced with gold paint make this retelling of an old standard a rich volume. Her retelling doesn't leave out the darker side of the Grimm's version either but ultimately it is a story of a triumph of spirit against the worst odds.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--This graceful retelling of the familiar folktale follows the basic, traditional thread of the story. Ray's choice of words and images is always lucid and precise, and the story reads well aloud, although its length is more suited to independent reading. The sumptuous, textured illustrations carry this version above the ordinary. The illustrator employs her trademark gold highlights throughout the finely detailed pictures, but here they are muted rather than gleaming, in keeping with the tone of the story. The earthy palette conveys the mood of the tale, evoking a bleakness that underlies the natural beauty of the children's surroundings. The forest is at once beautiful and threatening, the lushness of the leaves offset by how the trees dwarf the characters. The gingerbread house is a patchwork of delight, effectively distracting the children from the grim skull-like faces of the gingerbread children surrounding it. The witch is really scary. This winning combination of vivid language, color, and line proves that even with an often-told folktale, there is often room for one more.--Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Kirkus Reviews
A graceful retelling of the classic tale, accompanied by brilliant, swirling, full-bleed illustrations.

Ray finds the story's heart in images of dark and light, as treachery and abandonment are trumped by resourcefulness and love; the dark can be found in the gloom of the enveloping forest, the night sky, and the frightening interior of the witch's house, while the light comes in the golden stars and a shining moon above the forest, and in the illumination of the witch's house by the glowing fire that ultimately consumes her. In this handsomely designed book, an italicized typeface seems to whisper the storyteller's words; the text is set off with decorative gold-trimmed borders against fully saturated colored backdrops. The palette is rich and deep, the witch a startling and original figure with red eyes and a half-mask, and Hansel and Gretel appealing with their dark, knowing eyes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763603588
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/6/1997
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.08 (w) x 11.65 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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