Review of the Week: “Hansel and Gretel” by Neil Gaiman

hanselGaiman, Neil. Hansel and Gretel. Lorenzo Mattotti, Illus. Non-fiction. Toon, 2014. 54p. $16.95, 978-1-935179-62-7, PLB $29.95, 978-1-935179-65-8. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-8.

Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti lend their noir strengths to this deeply satisfying retelling of the Grimms’ classic tale. Gaiman’s straightforward, conversational tone smooths over the ominous hints of darkness, creating a creepily compelling
narrative. Both this tale and the extensive and excellent author’s note on the history of the story add in the political events that drive the action: war, famine, and political conquest. The historical
backdrop makes the story both more understandable and more chillingly believable, elevating its appeal to older readers.
Mattotti’s dark and vigorous brushed-ink drawings create a claustrophobic world in which small, silhouetted figures appear dwarfed by the swirling elements surrounding them. A short bibliography accompanies the author’s note.
Melissa McAvoy, Live Oak School

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