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Hansel and Gretelby Cynthia Rylant and Jen Corace
Cynthia Rylant's adaptation is characteristically and wonderfully simple; Jen Corace's illustrations are the appropriate mix of old-fashioned, sweet, and creepy. (Nobody has pupils! It's freaky!) Hansel and Gretel is a classic Grimm (and grim) fairy tale that belongs in every library... especially mine. Jen Corace rocks.
Synopses & Reviews
Once upon a time,
deep in the dark, green forest
there was an exquisite house made of cake and sugar--
a house made to lure lost, hungry children.
But the witch whose delicious house
lured Hansel and his sister, Gretel
had forgotten two things about lost children:
they can be very clever
and very brave.
Two old favorites receive robust new treatments in these handsome editions. Margaret Willey's take on the misadventures of naughty Goldilocks follows the traditional story arc without slavish devotion to the three bowls, three chairs and three beds. As seen through a little girl's eyes, these bears are a messy bunch, their ramshackle house "strewn from corner to corner with leaves and berry stems and... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) pine cones and fish bones and thick, brown fur." In Heather Solomon's illustrations, a doe-eyed, golden-haired child reverberates perfectly against the earthy denizens of the forest. On a darker note, Cynthia Rylant uses the Grimm tale of rejection and abandonment to balance spirituality ("It has been said that guardian spirits watch over and protect small children") against practicality ("But there are also stories of children who find the courage to protect themselves"). So begins the tale of a poor man, a wicked stepmother, a voracious witch and two stalwart siblings. Jen Corace's darkly hued, uncluttered illustrations visually pace the story, and she reserves sweeping double-page spreads for climatic moments, then narrows the focus to rounded vignettes focusing on the plight of the children themselves. Because both editions tap the essence of these familiar narratives, they will find a lasting home on children's bookshelves. Kristi Jemtegaard is the youth services coordinator for Arlington Public Library. She teaches children's and adolescent literature and has served on both the Caldecott and Newbery Committees. Reviewed by Kristi Jemtegaard, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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Newbery Medalist Rylant teams up with illustrator Corace for this gorgeous interpretation of the classic fairy tale. Full color.
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