Review – Hansel and Gretel

Hansel & Gretel – Neil Gaiman

Bloomsbury, 2014

The story is as old as dark forests and dark thoughts. Two children hear voices in the night, and in the morning are led away between the tall trees, far from the paths they know. Even if they can find the way home, they know they won’t be safe – but the world is so hungry, and there’s so much worse in the woods than wolves…

This is pretty much a straight retelling of the Grimm brothers fairy tale, with murkily atmospheric illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti. Gaiman gives the story a wider context, though, that gives it greater depth. The notes at the end explain the fairy tale’s history, which is as bleak as you might expect. Maybe not a good bedtime story for smaller children, but older ones with a taste for scary adventures might like this one.

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