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HANSEL AND GRETEL by Cynthia Rylant


adapted by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Jen Corace

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1186-3
Publisher: Hyperion

Observing that the classic tale features resourceful children saving themselves from evil rather than relying on “guardian spirits” or other outside help, Rylant delivers a straight, simply phrased retelling that Corace illustrates with clean-lined woodland scenes featuring figures in, largely, modern-looking country dress. Because the characters stand and gesture like dancers, and bear abstracted (or, in the cases of the stepmother and the witch, mildly annoyed) expressions, there is a theatrical quality to the large pictures that will help more sensitive children keep the story’s betrayals and dangers at arm’s length. So, too, does the text: The father, readers learn, “agreed to do what his selfish wife told him to do, for he had no fight left in him.” There are zillions of versions available, but the language and the visual harmony of this one makes it particularly suitable for sharing with younger audiences. (Picture book/folktale. 4-6)