Hansel and Gretel Standard Edition (A Toon Graphic)

( 3 )

Overview

The New York Times raves, "Hansel and Gretel astonishes from start to finish" while Kirkus Reviews declares, "If this isn’t the definitive edition of Hansel and Gretel, it’s absolutely necessary."

Best-selling author Neil Gaiman and fine artist Lorenzo Mattotti join forces to create Hansel & Gretel, a stunning book that’s at once as familiar as a dream and as evocative as a nightmare. Mattotti’s sweeping ink illustrations capture the terror and longing found in the classic ...

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Overview

The New York Times raves, "Hansel and Gretel astonishes from start to finish" while Kirkus Reviews declares, "If this isn’t the definitive edition of Hansel and Gretel, it’s absolutely necessary."

Best-selling author Neil Gaiman and fine artist Lorenzo Mattotti join forces to create Hansel & Gretel, a stunning book that’s at once as familiar as a dream and as evocative as a nightmare. Mattotti’s sweeping ink illustrations capture the terror and longing found in the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Neil Gaiman crafts an original text filled with his signature wit and pathos that is sure to become a favorite of readers everywhere, young and old.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Maria Russo
Written with a devastating spareness by Neil Gaiman and fearsomely illustrated in shades of black by Lorenzo Mattotti, the newest version of Hansel and Gretel astonishes from start to finish. It doesn't hurt that the book itself is a gorgeous and carefully made object, with a black floral motif on its pages' decorated borders, along with red drop caps and tall, round gray page numbers…All the well-chosen detail provides an ideal backdrop for what Gaiman and Mattotti have done with the Grimm Brothers' familiar story…Their rendition brings a freshness and even a feeling of majesty to the little tale. Some great, roiling essence of the human condition—our fate of shuttling between the darkness and the light—seems to inhabit its pages.
Publishers Weekly
★ 08/25/2014
Master storyteller Gaiman (The Graveyard Book) plumbs the dark depths of Hansel and Gretel, imagining the pair’s mother scheming to abandon them (“Two dead are better than four dead,” she tells their father. “That is mathematics, and it is logic”) and reveling in the witch’s cruelty. “Today, when the oven is hot enough, we will roast your brother,” she announces to Gretel. “But do not be sad. I will give you his bones to chew, little one.” Italian illustrator Mattotti contributes elegant b&w ink spreads that alternate with spreads of text. His artistry flows from the movement of his brush and the play of light and shadow. The witch’s house, tiled with baroque decorations and topped with a graceful tower, is unexpectedly beautiful; light pours through the barley sugar windows. The absence of color is a foil for Gaiman’s panoply of words: “gloves and hats of travelers, and coins of cold and of silver, a string of pearls, chains of gold and chains of silver.” Gaiman makes the story’s horrors feel very real and very human, and Mattotti’s artwork is genuinely chilling. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Hansel and Gretel astonishes from start to finish…The book itself is a gorgeous and carefully made object…Their rendition brings a freshness and even a feeling of majesty to the little tale.
—New York Times

If this isn't the definitive edition of "Hansel and Gretel," it's absolutely necessary. ... The swirling lines look as though they might start moving if seen at just the right moment. The pictures have inspired Gaiman to write some of his most beautiful sentences... Grimm version is as frightening as a bedtime story gets, but this version will scare people in new ways, and some of those people may need to start drawing right away.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Master storyteller Gaiman plumbs the dark depths of Hansel and Gretel... Italian illustrator Mattotti contributes elegant b&w ink spreads that alternate with spreads of text. His artistry flows from the movement of his brush and the play of light and shadow. ... Gaiman makes the story’s horrors feel very real and very human, and Mattotti’s artwork is genuinely chilling.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Newbery Medal–winner Neil Gaiman retells Hansel and Gretel as a story of parents plotting a murder by neglect, with full-spread India ink compositions by Lorenzo Mattotti as dark and terrifying as his forest setting. ... Gaiman's text is a study in minimalism, yet he includes every salient detail... A perfectly frightful treat.
—Shelf Awareness (starred review)

On simple, well-designed pages of just text, Gaiman tells a fairly standard version of Hansel and Gretel. And while the story is unsettling enough on its own, it’s Mattotti’s full-bleed india ink illustrations that dial up the creep factor. ... Mattotti masterfully and subtly uses negative space so each image isn’t immediately noticeable, like the most menacing game of hide-and-seek, and the abrupt oscillation between the clean, white pages of words and the silent, chilling dusky pictures is striking. While this isn’t a graphic novel per se, Gaiman’s fans and lovers of visual storytelling will devour this eerie version of a classic.
—Booklist

There is no question that Gaiman is an incredibly gifted wordsmith, and his retelling hearkens back to the Grimms’s original narrative. The most inspirational part of this book is Mattotti’s artwork. Pitch-black India ink is used to great effect, creating dark and terrifying landscapes that threaten to envelop the tiny figures of the children. An extensive note on the history of the tale’s origins is included as back matter. Mattotti’s amazing work will inspire a new generation of readers, and this volume will give chills.
—School Library Journal

I love Gaiman’s and Mattotti’s Hansel & Gretel. The writing is rich. ("They went so deep into the old forest that the sunlight was stained green by the leaves.") And the art is striking. I have never seen a more chill-inducing rendition of the witch's gingerbread cottage. I swear it looks like there's a skull atop it.
—Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Some books you’re excited about because you like the author and you know what to expect. Others are exciting because you like the author and you have no idea what to expect. That’s the case with this TOON Books version of Hansel & Gretel written by Neil Gaiman.
—Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes

[Gaiman and Mattotti] tell this Grimm's tale the way it should be told: fiercely and beautifully.
—Newsday

When it comes to new takes on fairy tales, the most spectacular by far is Neil Gaiman's brilliant new Hansel and Gretel.
—The Buffalo News

From the Publisher
If this isn't the definitive edition of "Hansel and Gretel," it's absolutely necessary. ... The swirling lines look as though they might start moving if seen at just the right moment. The pictures have inspired Gaiman to write some of his most beautiful sentences... Grimm version is as frightening as a bedtime story gets, but this version will scare people in new ways, and some of those people may need to start drawing right away.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Master storyteller Gaiman plumbs the dark depths of Hansel and Gretel... Italian illustrator Mattotti contributes elegant b&w ink spreads that alternate with spreads of text. His artistry flows from the movement of his brush and the play of light and shadow. ... Gaiman makes the story’s horrors feel very real and very human, and Mattotti’s artwork is genuinely chilling.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

On simple, well-designed pages of just text, Gaiman tells a fairly standard version of Hansel and Gretel. And while the story is unsettling enough on its own, it’s Mattotti’s full-bleed india ink illustrations that dial up the creep factor. ... Mattotti masterfully and subtly uses negative space so each image isn’t immediately noticeable, like the most menacing game of hide-and-seek, and the abrupt oscillation between the clean, white pages of words and the silent, chilling dusky pictures is striking. While this isn’t a graphic novel per se, Gaiman’s fans and lovers of visual storytelling will devour this eerie version of a classic.
—Booklist

There is no question that Gaiman is an incredibly gifted wordsmith, and his retelling hearkens back to the Grimms’s original narrative. The most inspirational part of this book is Mattotti’s artwork. Pitch-black India ink is used to great effect, creating dark and terrifying landscapes that threaten to envelop the tiny figures of the children. An extensive note on the history of the tale’s origins is included as back matter. Mattotti’s amazing work will inspire a new generation of readers, and this volume will give chills.
—School Library Journal

I love Gaiman’s and Mattotti’s Hansel & Gretel. The writing is rich. ("They went so deep into the old forest that the sunlight was stained green by the leaves.") And the art is striking. I have never seen a more chill-inducing rendition of the witch's gingerbread cottage. I swear it looks like there's a skull atop it.
—Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Some books you’re excited about because you like the author and you know what to expect. Others are exciting because you like the author and you have no idea what to expect. That’s the case with this TOON Books version of Hansel & Gretel written by Neil Gaiman.
—Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-07-16
If this isn't the definitive edition of "Hansel and Gretel," it's absolutely necessary. It would be easy for readers to believe that Mattotti drew these pictures while listening to a storyteller by firelight, as if he grabbed a piece of charcoal straight out of the ashes, because he needed to draw the characters right away. The truth may be even more amazing. The pictures were inspired by a Metropolitan Opera production of the Humperdinck favorite, and the thick patches of ink contain five different colors, though the effect is of enveloping blackness. The swirling lines look as though they might start moving if seen at just the right moment. The pictures have inspired Gaiman to write some of his most beautiful sentences, direct and horrifying: "If you do not eat," says the woodcutter's wife, "then you will not be able to swing an axe. And if you cannot cut down a tree, or haul the wood into the town, then we all starve and die." The wordless double-page spreads alternate with text-filled spreads, with lines set generously apart and framed by delicate flowers. A deluxe version, about half again as big, features a die-cut cover but is otherwise equally, spectacularly understated. The Grimm version is as frightening as a bedtime story gets, but this version will scare people in new ways, and some of those people may need to start drawing right away. (historical notes) (Picture book/fairy tale. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935179627
  • Publisher: TOON Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Series: Toon Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 37,689
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the best-selling author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio, theater, and films for children and adults alike. A pillar of modern fantasy writing, he has received many awards, including the Newbery and Carnegie Medals, as well as Hugo Awards, two Nebula awards, a World Fantasy Award, four Bram Stoker Awards, six Locus Awards, and countless other honors. The story of Hansel and Gretel is one of his favorite tales from his childhood.

Lorenzo Mattotti is an Italian illustrator and comics and graphic artist. He is recognized today as one of the most outstanding international exponents of comic art. His works have been featured in such magazines as The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Le Monde, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. He won an Eisner Award in 2003 for his graphic novel Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 8, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    There is something about the story of Hansel and Gretel, so eeri

    There is something about the story of Hansel and Gretel, so eerie and extraordinary, it was a story so surprising good. So many parts of that story I found disturbing growing up, compared to other fairy tales. I think that is why I cherished this story; it wasn’t all sweet and pleasant like other fairy tales for it was unexpected and different. The mother’s scheme to abandon her children for lack of food and the father’s attempt to follow through with this plan, not once but twice as Hansel outsmarted his parents the first time. Then there was the house made of candy. Oh how I wanted to visit that house made of candy; I think everyone wanted to see this house as much as we wanted to visit Willy Wonka. Then there was the Hansel, the way he showed the old woman a bone each day inside his cage, a bone!! I always wondered whose bone that really was. And then there’s Gretel, when she wasn’t chained to her bed she worked nonstop for the old lady. The thoughts and the feelings she must have been experiencing. What a dark and gloomy tale but one that I truly remember and loved. Neil Gaiman captures this mysterious and important fairy tale with a story that sure to capture your attention. Using only black and white as his medium, the text is written on a two-page spread which is then followed by a two-page spread illustration completed in sweeping black ink illustrations contrasting with the white background. This pattern continues throughout the book, combining text with ominous illustrations that captures the darkness and gloom of the story. I really loved the way this book is put together. I had to read it again and again; taking time to carefully look at the illustrations, the lightening and bleakness of the situation portrayed here was fantastic. This to me shows the direness of the situation, it was perfection.

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  • Posted December 1, 2014

    While this was a very short book I still found it extremely enjo

    While this was a very short book I still found it extremely enjoyable.




    It's been many years since I've read the Hansel and Gretel fairytale, but I did notice a few subtle differences here and there.




    With black and white illustrations throughout this book it's gorgeously packaged inside and out.




    A dark and creepy fairytale that comes through in not only the writing but also the pictures.




    While this was the first book of Neil Gaiman's I've ever read I'm intrigued enough to pick up some of his other books and give them a go.




    But for fans of Neil definitely add this to your tbr pile you won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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