Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Fairy tales retold

UK Writer and Italian Illustrator 
 Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
Hansel & Gretel

Bloomsbury 2014  $24.99hb 46pp  ISBN 978 1 4088 6198 1 
Themes: Abandonment/ Fairy tales – retold/ Horror Stories/ Old Age

One of the true horror stories from the world of fairy tales is brought to stunning life here in words and illustration. Although Neil Gaiman doesn’t step totally away from the classic format of this well thumbed story he does tell it in  more detail so that we feel anew the terror of the children’s abandonment in the deep dark of the woods, the evil of the old woman (now no longer a witch) in her gingerbread cottage and the wonder of the happy ending with all the ends tied neatly ‘up’. Don’t expect a burst of colour in the illustrations – they are brilliantly presented in black ink taking us further into what is really a psychological thriller.

Do read the article on page 48-49 which shows the beginnings of this story that was published in 1812 in the Grimm Brothers first collection of German tales.
Year 4 up/ Age 8 up 


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