Title: Hansel and Gretel
Author: Michael Morpugo
Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s fiction, Fairytale
Book format: Paperback
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Description: No child ever forgets the story of the witch, the breadcrumb trail and the gingerbread house in the woods.  Retold by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by celebrated artist Emma Chichester Clark, this powerful and beautiful retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic will grip the imagination of a while new generation of children.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a magical book. I couldn’t remember the story of Hansel and Gretel properly. Most of the story I remember, the gingerbread house and what happens next, is actually the ending of the story, so it was wonderful to sit down and read through this book and be reminded of how this tale started.

Hansel and Gretel book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

I won’t go into the plot in any detail but it is an exciting read: Gabriel and Lisette are a wonderful and happy couple who love their kids Hansel and Gretel very much, but one day an old witch spies on the family and wants to have Gabriel and the kids to herself. This version of the classic fairytale really has an enchanting and haunting feel. I felt drawn to reading this from the first page and couldn’t put it down until I had finished the whole story.

The illustrations really lend to the tale and its atmosphere. There are images throughout the pages, sometimes a double page image, sometimes a picture among the text. All of these illustrations though are so amazing that I felt they really pulled me into the atmosphere of the story. I especially liked the way Belladonna’s eyes are so different from the others.

Hansel and Gretel book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

I’d really recommend this book to everyone. Although it is aimed at kids it is certainly a book adults can enjoy reading too. With a great ending but enough of a haunting atmosphere to really grip kids, this is a wonderful version of the classic fairytale and one which I’ll be reading again.

-Review first appeared online August 2017 – now republished here.

Do you like fairytale retellings?  Do you know the Hansel and Gretel story?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂