"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nibble Nibble Mousekin: a Tale of Hansel and Gretel

Nibble Nibble Mousekin: a Tale of Hansel and Gretel by Joan Walsh Anglund, 1962.


  •  No mention of God
  • Stepmother does not tell the woodcutter her plan to be rid of the kids
  • Children go to the woods with the family to "gather berries"
  • Witch's house is a "...cottage... made of gingerbread. Its roof dripped with thick white frosting, and it sparkled with gum drops and peppermint sticks. It's chimney was a cookie and the windows were clear sugar."
  • Witch promises no harm will come to them
  • Stepmother runs away because she is frightened by the evil things she has done

"Nibble nibble mousekin,
Who's nibbling at my housekin?"

In Anglund's specific artistic style, the children are drawn with no facial features but eyes, which are round and black. Only in profile are their noses visible. Although Hansel and Gretel look cute when they are alone, they seem bizarre when contrasted with the adults that have complete features and expressions. The stepmother has a beaky nose and a nasty expression, either smirking or looking as though she smelled something bad. The witch has a similar look, with her chin and nose so pointed that in profile she looks like a quarter moon. Her clothing though, would not be amiss on Mother Goose, with a ruffled mop cap topped by a peaked hat, spreading skirts, an apron and a cloak.

Every other picture spread is in color with pops of red and yellow. Anglund uses the space well, with a good ratio of design to blank space. The scenery, such as rolling hills and draping trees, give the art a sense of movement.

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