We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel… or do we? This retake on the popular story takes a softer approach to the classic tale and creates a happy ending for everyone. The bright colors of the illustrations hint at the sweet treat that is the center of the commotion.
Over all this book, while a fun read, it is very predictable. The witch is good…. she likes to make food art out of her mashed potatoes and the gingerbread house is just a larger form of that. She does not eat children (she bought children clothing to make scarecrows to scare away the crows). The crow that is always bothering her is obviously the villain…… The ending is “and they all lived happily ever after/all is forgiven” by everyone. The way around the witch burned in the oven was interesting: she was pushed into the oven, but her stove is a magic stove and would never hurt her. “Good guys” are in light colors and the “bad guys” are in dark colors. The breaking of the fourth-wall is an over-used technique, but not horrible in this case. Think The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Scieszka, but not as saucy. The witch tells her story in a more “your favorite auntie” tone.
This might be a fun anytime read, but not particularly a bed time story (they do show the witch in the oven, flames around her. In fact, the witch mentions if this is too scary take a breather for a minute). The younger child might be upset by this, so this is meant for slightly older children and adults. Could be a good book to add to an adult’s collection of fairy tales, in particular, alternative fairytales.