Children's Literature - Phyllis KennemerElements of "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Ugly Duckling" are integrated into an original story. Hansel and Gretel walk to a farm to sell some unspecified things for some eggs. Along the way, they see a lonely little duck isolated from the other ducks in the stream. Upon their return home, they bake bread with recently purchased grain before their father sends them out to find wood chips in the forest. They are lost when darkness falls, so they knock on the door of a sweet little house. The woman places both of them in a cage. In the meantime, the ugly duckling discovers their trail of bread crumbs and follows them to the cottage. The witch is sleeping, so the duckling snatches the key from its hook. Gretel unlocks the door. She, Hansel and the duck run home. One day the duckling turns into a swan. The father in this story is loving. No mother is mentioned. The cartoonlike illustrations exaggerate the humorous aspects of the story. This distortion of two fairy tales may be confusing for the intended young audience. Children need a solid basis in traditional folk literature before being introduced to parodies. Mixing two tales together before youngsters are thoroughly familiar with the elements of each separately may prevent them from ever understanding the basic motifs and morals of either individual tale. This type of tinkering with fairy tales is more appropriate for middle school students than for beginning readers. Part of the "Tadpoles: Fairytale Jumbles" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >