Book Review: Hansel and Gretel (Neil Gaiman)


Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Pages: 56
Release Date: December 11th 2014

Summary (From Goodreads):

The enduring story of the children, the breadcrumb trail and the gingerbread house is brought to life by master storyteller, Neil Gaiman. Who better to retell the Brothers Grimm’s greatest, and perhaps darkest, fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel? Coupled with breathtakingly haunting illustrations from Lorenzo Mattotti, you will be enticed into the world and into the woods . . . so beware.


This is a lovely telling of the classic story of Hansel and Gretel. I’ve received a lot of fairytale books lately (including the complete works of the Brothers Grimm) and am really interested in the different tellings and they way they change over the years/author-author.

This story is classic Gaiman, beautifully told with dark undertones and some very creepy illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti. I did enjoy the illustrations: they reminded me a little of those in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. The style is similar, black and white, very dark and ‘messy’ looking (not in a bad way, it’s just the only word I can think to describe it – I’m not good with arty things!)

The reason I’ve only given three stars is because I was expecting something a little more. It really was just the story of Hansel and Gretel with no added darkness or twists, as I was expecting. It’s still a lovely story and I’ll be looking out for more of his fairytales, but I think with slightly lower expectations this time. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a well told fairy tale, but maybe look elsewhere if you’re after a more twisted tale.

(As a side note, there was also a page at the back with explained some of the origins of the story, which I found really interesting, as apparently during wartime people would sometimes be forced to eat other people or ‘lose’ children so there were less mouths to feed.)

My Verdict:

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3 Replies to “Book Review: Hansel and Gretel (Neil Gaiman)”

  1. Hopping over from the British Books Challenge….

    I would have expected more from a Neil Gaiman book, too. But now that I know what to expect, this sounds interesting just for the presentation of an old story.

    Joy's Book Blog

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