(Delightfully Dark): Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti

(Delightfully Dark): Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo MattottiHansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman
on 2014-11-01
Pages: 56
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.

Hansel and Gretel is delightfully re-imagined by Neil Gaiman and beautifully illustrated by Loreno Mattotti in this gorgeous take on the classic fairytale. With the story broken up with dark yet gorgeous double page illustrations, this edition is a wonderful gift for book lovers everywhere.

With subtle differences from the Grimm tale, this story is cleverly retold by Gaiman. The tale is hauntingly delivered with the ideas of cannibalism and child abandonment at the forefront, however this version is beautifully presented. Mattotti’s black and white illustrations are incredibly vivid despite only using the two colours.

This book may be brief at only 56 pages and half of those pages being pictures. However it is long enough to deliver a great story. Hansel and Gretel is presented in a dark and hauntingly beautiful kind of way . The drawings, the floral embellishments to the pages with text and the gorgeous green on the dust jacket – this book is absolutely lovely to read.

What I loved most about this book was the afterword which gave some background on Hansel and Gretel. It compares Gaiman’s to the original Grimm tale and mentions international stories with similar themes throughout history. I did not know the illustrations by Mattotti were in fact the inspiration for Gaiman’s take on the story!

Gaiman’s Hansel and Gretel is a great combination of classic fairytale and eerie yet memorizing illustrations. A must for fan of dark fairytale, appropriate for young and older readers alike.


Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy. 


    • You know how these kinds of books go – evil witches luring children into their gingerbread cottages in order to eat them. That quote Willy Wonka “that is called cannibalism my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies.”

      Okay – I just wanted to put that quote in there. Everytime I think of the word Cannibalism JDepp saying that line pops into my head.

      Hope you enjoy the new Neil Gaiman books, Emily! They are very pretty and great stories too.

  1. Oh wow! This sounds lovely! I do have a strange love for Grimm’s fairy tales and the darker ones, even though I’m a slight wuss with scary novels…SOMETHING WHICH I ENDEAVOUR TO OVERCOME! But I also love picture books! I always have ever since I read Shirley Barber’s fairy books as a child.
    From your description, this sounds like a beautiful haunting book and I hope one day I’ll be able to read it!

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