Hansel and Gretel Hardcover – Sep 23 2008
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"* "With Morpurgo's expert retelling this is quite perfect." The Children's Bookseller on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Michael Morpurgo, former Children's Laureate of Britain, has written more than a hundred books and received many awards. His books include I BEVLIEVE IN UNICORNS, as well as retellings of BEOWULF and SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT. He lives in Devon, England.
Emma Chichester Clark has written and illustrated many acclaimed books for young readers, including the Blue Kangaroo stories, the fi rst of which was short-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I love the way that Morpourgo brings out the character of the story. It is a direct, fluid, concise retelling that also fleshes out the characters. There are various touches that allow the story to take flight while remaining true to the Grimms. I love how the children are perceptive and proactive when reacting to their various predicaments. I love the way that he conflates the stepmother and the witch into one character. It allows us to see how the stepmother wants to go all out to destroy the children, both by marrying the husband and turning herself into the witch in the gingerbread house. As such he makes the motives clear to the readers. I also love the way that he brings out the terror of this fairy-tale so that it doesn't become too cosy. Morpurgo accentuates the dark themes in this story, for instance, the famine backdrop, the dominance of the wicked stepmother and even the wolves that prowl the forest around Hansel and Gretel. So this allows the reader to share in the experiences with the protagonists.
Morpurgo's words are well-matched by the atmospheric Emma Chichester Clark illustrations. They suit the material very well and draw the reader into the story.
This is, in short, a delectable version of the fairy tale, better than any infantile retellings of this kind of story.
The writing is just as good as the pictures. Michael Morpurgo has done a superb job in bringing the story to life, and making the characters deeper and more vivid than in briefer retellings of this story.
This is an excellent book, and I think children between 6 and 10 will appreciate it, both for its beuaty, and for the rich characters described within it. Adults will enjoy reading it to their children- which is always a good sign in a children's book.