Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel

by Will Moses
     
 

Will Moses, one of America’s most beloved folk artists, brings us his charming interpretation of the most enduring of all Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, Hansel & Gretel. Moses’ playful double-spread paintings, full of exquisite color and details, and his authentic retelling of this classic story will captivate young readers and take them back

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Overview

Will Moses, one of America’s most beloved folk artists, brings us his charming interpretation of the most enduring of all Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, Hansel & Gretel. Moses’ playful double-spread paintings, full of exquisite color and details, and his authentic retelling of this classic story will captivate young readers and take them back to a dark, mysterious forest, an enticing gingerbread house, and a terrifying witch.

At once beautiful, whimsical, and great fun, Will Moses’ adaptation of Hansel & Gretel is the perfect way to celebrate this ageless and essential fairy tale.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Folk artist Moses (Will Moses' Mother Goose) refrains from adding new elements to or trying to set his own stamp on the text, adhering faithfully to the Grimm Brothers' story. His unique contribution instead comes through in innumerable subtle visual inventions in his oil paintings. Alternating spot illustrations that dot pages of text with wordless full-bleed spreads, he paints forest landscapes thick with spruces and winding streams, a night lit with a moon as warm and orange as a pumpkin, and a witch's house whose architectural details and cozy fittings make its candy decorations seem almost superfluous. Softening the horrors of their prospective roles as the main ingredient of the witch's upcoming feast, Moses shows Hansel and Gretel tucked into beds with fluffy pillows and warm comforters, and while the artist delights in the witch's mole-dotted, shovel-faced appearance, potted plants and a roaring fire warm her breakfast table, and her hat and broom hang neatly by the door. Dropped capital letters interlaced with botanical motifs add to the charm of the book's design; more motifs grace the margins of the text pages. Like the story's final verse ("Sleep well tonight, and don't let this old story give you a fright. Your parents love you dear, and will never let harm come near!"), the whole edition beams optimism and the rewards of resourcefulness. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Will Moses is the great-grandson of the legendary Grandma Moses. Not surprisingly, he carries on the family tradition of folk art in his picture books for children--a style that functions especially well in his retelling of what he calls the Grimm Brothers' "dark . . . cautionary tale." Moses' oils on paper work best when recreating a Bavarian forest with its dark spruce, knobby mountains, and wandering wildlife. And while his "little cottage" is hardly small, it is filled with wonderful painted furniture and period crockery while being surrounded by wickedly skulking wolves. The story itself is told in a straightforward rendition of the original. It is good to have the story back again, but Will Moses' illustrations are what will sell the book: They are a good match to the primitive flavor of the original fairytale. 2006, Philomel/Penguin, Ages 3 to 7.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-A lushly illustrated rendition of the classic tale. In his preface, Moses acknowledges the dark aspects of the story and uses descriptive words like "harangued" and "vicious tirade" to convey clearly why the "poor" father capitulates to his wife's terrible plan of abandoning the children. He also has the stepmother tie down a sapling to thump against a hollow tree, mimicking the noise of a woodcutter cutting trees, and the children mistakenly believe that their father is nearby. Moses's signature colorful folk art, done in oil on fabriano paper, effectively conveys the flavor of 19th-century German landscapes, houses, and furnishings. Unfortunately, although the text states that the family "lived in a little cottage," the illustrations depict a large, well-furnished home. Additionally, the tiny and static expressions of the children communicate poorly the powerful emotions reflective of their ordeal. In contrast, Paul Zelinsky's illustrations in Rika Lesser's retelling (Putnam, 1989) poignantly portray the children, demonstrating how integral their expressions are in developing the fear and tension that permeate the tale. In a final addition, Moses feels compelled to reassure his listeners, "Sleep well tonight, and don't let this old story give you a fright. Your parents love you dear and will never let harm come near!" An additional purchase.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Strong, atmospheric illustrations compensate, at least in part, for less than smooth writing in this version of the old domestic drama. Well-populated with bears, wolves, mushrooms, dark glades and massive pines, the forest really looks "ancient and mysterious" in both the smaller views and the several wordless full spreads. In contrast, the witch's manor-sized house gleams with tempting, sugary goodness on the outside, and cheery hominess within-a hominess that is echoed by the rustic, flower-painted furnishings of Hansel and Gretel's home in the final scene, as the errant children and their father reunite in a joyful embrace. For text, Moses keeps reasonably close to the original's tone and pacing, but he refers to "another famine" without having mentioned an earlier one, and adds a gratuitous detail by ascribing the evil stepmother's death to "a black heart." There isn't exactly a need for another "Hansel and Gretel," but visually at least this ranks with Moses's best work. No source note. (Picture book/folktale. 9-11)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399242342
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/19/2006
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
563,891
Product dimensions:
9.15(w) x 11.63(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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