Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Review of "Hansel and Gretel," retold by Rika Lesser

Review of

Hansel and Gretel, retold by Rika Lesser ISBN 0590316729

Four out of five stars

 People that have read the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm understand that great care must be taken when some of them are read to young children. Hansel and Gretel is one such tale, for it deals with deliberate parental abandonment and the enticement with sweets where the goal is to be thrown in an oven and used as food.

 In this rendition, the children overhear their parents making plans to take Hansel and Gretel deep into the woods and leave them there. The mother is the one most in favor of the plan, with the father only reluctantly acquiescing. The illustrations are a bit understated in their coloration, they appear a bit washed out, yet solidly support the text.

  Although I read hundreds of books to my daughter when she was young, this was not one of them. While the story is an old one and it does have a happy ending, it takes the death of two women to make it happen. One point of interest is that in this story it is the father that is the good parent while the mother is the bad one.

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