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Hansel and Gretel Hardcover – February 1, 1999


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Hansel and Gretel + Rumpelstiltskin + Rapunzel (Caldecott Medal Book)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1st edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525461523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525461524
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This magnificently illustrated Caldecott Honor book features an understated retelling of the classic tale. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The illustrations here are simply beautiful!
kn_s
I would highly recommend this story to anyone with children 5 years or over.
kindergarteneduk8r
I wanted the story to be told just like I remembered as a child.
Kathryn Milkowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By kn_s VINE VOICE on September 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 5 and 6 year old, I recall reading this stark version of the fairy-tale. The illustrations here are simply beautiful! I remember talking to my mom about the issues in this tale -- famine and starvation, abandonment, cannibalism, supporting, being supported by your sibling, and returning/reunited to your family after being through everything.
My mom helped me understand the mom's behaviour in this story, and I hope I can do that for my son some day. Like all fairy tales, this simply looks at some of the worst that could happen, and lets you see a way out. I read it without these gorgeous illustrations too. You can't disney all of life, though I admit, I'm a sentimental soft-hearted person who cries when the cats get rained on when I'm watching the Aristocats :-) Enjoy, and think too ...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Reader from California on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I noticed some reviewers very concerned about the fact that the children end up killing the old woman at the end. However, in every version of Hansel and Gretel that I've ever read that is how it ends. The old woman imprisons them and plans to "butcher" them to eat. Quite gruesome. She is not described as a "witch" but rather just a wicked old hag who uses her gingerbread house to lure in innocent children. While we don't want to teach violence to children, there is something empowering for young children to know that they can act to protect themselves against someone (even an adult) who is trying to hurt them. Rather than a fairy godmother or a handsome prince "rescuing" them, they rescue themselves. So, offing the witch at the end didn't bother me as much as some of the earlier pages. Hansel and Gretel's parents are so poor and have no food so the mother persuades the father to abandon them in the forest. It's a little hard to explain to a very young child why a mother would want to leave her children to die in the forest, regardless of how poor they are. I judiciously edited that part while reading it. I still think the book is a good one, but parents might want to read through it first before buying it.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
As other reviewer here have noted, this story is not the 'watered down' modern version of the tale. I would not recommend the book for especially senstive kids. As it is my daughter (4 y.o.) asks each time we read the book, "why would H&G's mama and papa leave them in the woods alone and try to get rid of them?" "why would the witch keep Hansel in a cage / want to eat Hansel?" "why does Gretel push the witch into the oven and burn her?" etc. If your son / daughter is prone to nightmares, the wonderful illustrations really 'bring to life' the tale, so this book - between the story and the pictures - might just be too haunting for many kids. It dosen't bother my daughter, but then again, it is also not picked for bedtime reading very often, either. It really IS a gorgeous book, though.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Bach on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice rendition of Hansel & Gretel, much as the one I recall from my childhood. One of the only more obvious differences I noted was that it was not the "step-mother" who encouraged the father to abondon the children in the forest, but instead, the "mother," perhaps reflective of our more sensitive times. Zelinsky's illustrations, as indicated by the Caldecott Medal, enhanced the story greatly. All-in-all, a cute, nostalgic Grimm's Fairy Tale...though I see no mention of the Borthers Grimm in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan M. Hruska on November 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my kids were 5 & 6 years old, I discovered this book at the local library. It caught my eye because it was a (1985) Caldecott Medal Honor Book, and was displayed w/lots of other Caldecott Medal winners. We usually read 30-60 minutes before bedtime and this book was a family favorite; we checked it out from the library again and again. The illustrations are vivid and memorable. Of course, it helped to read the book with a creepy/scary voice for the witch's character. The kids enjoyed the illustrations tremendously, often looking at the pictures on their own. Recently, I bought a copy of this book and gave it to my son, a recent new father. What a big hit! He remembered this book well, even though it's been 18 years since we read it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
We love Hansel and Gretel. Our favorite version scares the socks off my kids. Hansel and Gretel (Picture Puffins) They like it so well, we have it in the box with the scary Halloween books. It's an October tradition.

This is a sweet Hansel and Gretel that is not quite as terrifying. The cute woodland creatures are sweet, the gingerbread fence is sweet, the gumdrops and icing roof is sweet, the witch even wears a sweet apron.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as we do! And don't forget James Marshall's version at Halloween -- it will give your kids the chills.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Teresa on March 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Hansel and Gretel is a classic story about a family that lives in the woods. The father is a woodcutter and the family is very poor. The mother convinces the father that they should go out into the woods and leave their children there. She says that it is the only way they will survive. Hansel heard his parents talking about this one night and he told Gretel. The next day, their parents told them that they were going into the forest to chop wood. Hansel took a handful of pebbles and dropped them a little bit at a time on their way. This was so they could find their way back home. The idea worked. The mother and father decided to try again. This time Hansel dropped breadcrumbs, but the birds of the forest ate the breadcrumbs and the children were lost. They started walking and came upon a house made of candy. Little did they know, a witch lived inside. The witch tried cooking Hansel, but Gretel managed to shove the witch into the oven. Hansel and Gretel found lots of pearls and diamonds in boxes in the witches house. They shoved them into their pockets and left. They finally found their way home and when they got there, they found out that the mother had died.
This book has always been one of my favorites. When you add Zelinsky illustration's it is a literary success. Rika Lesser did an incredible job of retelling this classic. The umbrella theme of children's literature of, "if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything" is hidden in the fairy tale book.
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