“Hansel and Gretel” by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti (Toon Books, 2014)

Hansel & Gretel
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We’ve heard the story of the siblings Hansel and Gretel told numerous times throughout our childhood, often in slightly different versions, and often vastly different from that first version recorded by the Brothers Grimm long ago. And now bestselling author Neil Gaiman, of Neverwhere and American Gods, joins forces with talented artist Lorenzo Mattotti to provide a new telling for an old favorite fable.

You can tell from the opening lines that you’re reading another great Neil Gaiman story, as he does a great job of providing some back story to that of Hansel and Gretel , of the struggles their family has gone through and why their mother and father are looking to get rid of them. Eventually they end up lost deep in the woods and stumble upon a house made of gingerbread and candy. You know the rest of the story.

The artwork, which is on every other double page, is not your usual pretty fairytale scenes, but done in harsh black ink with sketchings and shadings that lend a tone that hasn’t really been seen with the story since the original Grimm telling. It is a powerful artwork that adds greatly to the story and keeps the reader fully engrossed. At the end of the book is a brief history of the story, enlightening the reader on its various changes and versions over time.

Originally written on January 1, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Hansel and Gretel from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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