Hansel and Gretel, Words by Cynthia Rylant, Pictures By Jen Corace

Hansel and Gretel, Words by Cynthia Rylant, Pictures By Jen Corace

Carrie McBride
Sep 22, 2008

"It has been said that guardian spirits watch over and protect small children, and that may be so. But there are also stories of children who find the courage to protect themselves." So begins a new retelling of the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel...

Why are we so excited about this book? First, it's illustrated by Jen Corace whose prints we snatch up whenever we can. Her work, usually featuring children, is often mysterious and sometimes downright dark, but the simplicity of her lines lends a sweetness and an old-fashioned quality that is a perfect match for Hansel and Gretel.

Newbery winner Cynthia Rylant has tackled the words here and has emphasized the bravery and cleverness of these young siblings in outwitting the old woman and her gruesome plans for them. Rylant's retelling reminds us of a more poetic Lemony Snicket and will surely appeal to precocious, non-Disneyfied children.

Hansel and Gretel, released last week by Hyperion Books, is a beautiful book that we're happy to own ourselves and we look forward to sharing with our child.

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