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Hansel and Diesel Hardcover – August 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Gordon's third tricked-up automotive interpretation of a familiar children's tale is Grimm with a gimmick: Hansel and Diesel are sibling pickup trucks (so the text reads, though they're pictured as flatbeds) who wander from their junkyard home in search of fuel (trailing bolts in lieu of bread crumbs) and into the clutches of the Wicked Winch. She lives in the most beautiful gas station they could have imagined…right in the middle of the junkyard! When the thirsty little vehicles help themselves to deep glugs of her warm gasoline, the Winch inquires, Guzzle, guzzle, drip and drool, who is drinking all my fuel? The little ones are saved from the jaws of her ominous metal shredder by their worried parents, who push the winch to her just reward and admonish their evilly gleeful-looking kids: Don't you ever leave home and scare us like that again! The junkyard-as-forest is effectively rendered, with bleak towers of snow-covered tires giving readers an idea of the relative diminutiveness of the duo, and the candy-land confection of a gas station is an able stand-in for the classic house of bread and cakes. Among the missing are the familial tensions that serve as the original story's energy source, and the girl-power rescue that makes quick-thinking Gretel a particular favorite. Fans of Gordon's The Ugly Truckling (2004) and The Three Little Rigs (2005, both HarperCollins)–which put in shameless-self-promotion cameo appearances here–will probably overlook what's lacking, but others may want to stick with something closer to the original.–Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-K. The author of The Three Little Pigs (2005) continues his series of mechanized fairy tales. This time he features Hansel and Gretel as two small trucks that venture out one cold, snowy night, looking for gas and dropping a trail of bolts to find their way home. A big, bright gas station is a lure, set up by the Wicked Winch, who attempts to drag the two little trucks into the crusher. The verve in Gordon's story comes from his illustrations, featuring a sharp contrast between the cutesy trucks making their way through a harsh expressionist landscape. Particularly effective is an overhead view of huge stacks of old tires in a grim, black-and-white setting, which is followed by a picture of a glowing art deco gas station against a very black background. At the end, the little trucks are rescued by their parents, and the Wicked Winch becomes scrap metal. Gordon offers plenty for young children to look at and enjoy. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060581220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060581220
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,509,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You know that one book your child picks to read at bedtime and you cringe when you see which one it is? Well this is that book.

Its a re-telling of the story of Hansel and Gretel except in this case it is Hansel and Diesel and they are trucks living in a junkyard with their parents. One day they venture forth and come upon the Wicked Winch's gas station in the middle of the junkyard. The Winch lures them in and...well, you know the rest.

I have several issues with the book, but mainly it is just plain scary. The pictures are dark and not just thematically, its hard to make out detail in many of the pages. I haven't read other books by Gordon so I don't know if its just this one or not. As for the dark tone of the book, I guess you could say I should have been expecting that what with it being based on a scary fairy tale, but I didn't think it would include a part like this:

Slowly he [the dad] pushed her back into her garage of doom, where she was shredded into a thousand tiny scraps of metal. "Yay!" cried Hansel and Diesel.

It seemed way too vindictive to me and I don't need my 3 year old learning that its ok to hurt those who hurt you.

My son first picked this book out at the library and I was forced to read it many times during the following weeks. Upon our return visit he broke down in tears when he found out we had to give the book back. A month or two later a well meaning relative sent him a copy of his own and here we are, me trying to hide the book in the hopes that he will forget all about it and then I can toss it.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of David Gordon's illustrations and this book succeeds wonderfully in that regard.

This is a re-telling of Hansel and Gretel, which is among the scarier traditional fairy tales. Here, instead of a witch, H&G are lured to danger by a wicked winch, which is clever and amusing (to the adults).

My son is 3 1/2 years old and even before the really gory parts, he was already starting to squirm in his chair and asked a million questions about why the winch was so angry. I chose not to finish reading this book to him because he would have been up all night worried about the little trucks getting shredded. He does enjoy looking at it without me reading the text, but even that scares him a little bit.

I think this would be a terrific book for kids who are older but I can't recommend it for kids 3 and under.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book to share with my class after the success of The Three Little Rigs last year. While spending time babysitting this summer, I shared the book with a family of three (ages 4, 6, and 8). The book has been a hit. In two days, we have read the book MANY times. The 4 year old has carried it around with him constantly. This would be a great book for any boy, but the two sisters have liked it too.
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
Hansel and Diesel is a clever parody that children, especially young boys, will absolutely love! David Gordon is an amazing illustrator and an underrated author. This book had even my most distracted students mesmerized and totally engaged. When students applaud and yell, "Read it again!" it's a winner of a book. It's a wonderful read aloud for parents to share with their children and has applications in the classroom as well.
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Format: Hardcover
David Gordon's HANSEL AND DIESEL offers a different kind of Grimm tale: here two machines set out to search for fuel in their junkyard - and face the Wicked Winch alone in the forest. How can two little lost trucks survive? A remarkable, innovative presentation.
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