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

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Thing 22: Discovering Apps

Apps Gone Free:

"Apps Gone Free is a great way to discover apps from the App Store that have gone free for the day. To get the word out, apps will occasionally go on sale for a day or a week and this app lets you know about them. You’ll find five to ten apps of all different kinds highlighted per day."

I added this app today (actually 5/28), and it advertised the following free (temporarily) apps:
  • Tube for YouTube- "Get the full YouTube experience"
  • Gridplay-"Turn your everyday videos into framed masterpieces"
  • Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish Games, Inc. -"The highest and rated and most popular solitaire game in the app store"
  • Game of War- Fire Age- "An addictive strategy game with a fun social aspect"
  • Atomus- "Take control of thousands of particles with this relaxing entertainment app"
  • Pocket Scanner -"Turn your iPhone into a powerful mobile scanner"
  • Tadaa SLR -"Take fantastic SLR quality photos"
  • Uface- Unique Face Maker -"Create hand-drawn versions of yourself"
  • Pocket Scanner HD - turn your iPad into a portable scanner
  • SalaryBook HD -"Freelancers, consultants, and professionals can keep track of their working hours and earnings'
I am going to pass on these. But, for kicks I went back a week to see what else had been offered, and this one seemed interesting.

IncrediBooth- "...Create awesome photo strips using your iDevice's front-facing camera"

In truth, I don't know how much I will actually check this app. I don't feel I'm really lacking apps, and I probably wouldn't pay for one unless it's really outstanding, but I guess it's a nice option.


"Quixey is the app search engine and it’s a great way to discover apps. It allows you to search for the type of app you’re looking for and it gives you great suggestions. It’s a much better way to do some keyword searching to find apps than you’ll get in the Apple or Android stores."

Puttering around on Quixey and searching for brain games, I turned up this app:

Fit Brains Trainer:  "Fit Brains Trainer is a brain training & fitness app with more than 360 games & unique training sessions that are designed to enhance your Memory, Processing Speed, Concentration, Problem Solving and Visual skills."

I had to enter my identifying information, including age, and the app began to "train" me with appropriate games. In session 1, I counted blocks for speed, then completed number patterns for problem solving. Ick, numbers. Things resembling math make me nervous. In session 2, I identified shadow shapes for visual improvement, counted more blocks, and spotted hidden shapes for speed. You get the idea. I think that I will use this app. Well, maybe not. Apparently you only get five sessions for free and after that it's ten dollars a month.

I also tried the keyword "kindness" and found:

Random Act of Kindness: Which suggests compassionate things you can do and lets you share them on social media. Some examples: "Help someone get their GED," "Document your family tree," and "Donate clothes to a woman's shelter."

Acts of Kindness: Which does pretty much the same thing, with additional suggestions of good causes to donate to. For example, "You could donate to Africare" and all you need to do is push "Learn More" to be connected to Africare's website. Other good deeds: "You could lend advice to someone with a problem," "You could donate to National Children's Leukemia Foundation," "You could donate to the American Brain Tumor Association," and "You could donate to the Animal Legal Defense Fund."

Bee Kind: Is more visually fun than the other two apps, more child friendly and probably more likely to be used by me. To get your kindness To Do List, you spend the bee's wheel and it gives you a suggestion, which you either accept or reject, such as "Be kind to the planet, shut the car off if stopped longer than a minute," "Be very kind to yourself, forget the past and let go of your guilt," "Be kind to animals, donate pet food to a local animal shelter," and "Be very kind to others, buy groceries for an elderly friend." All the ideas that you accept are compiled into a list and you can check things off when you have finished them. Then you can share on social media if you want. For extra cuteness and fun, there are also levels to the game. You start as a lazy bee and progress to a super bee!


Kindness Free Guided Meditation for Inner Peace:

As promised, this app talks you through a brief (approx 6 minutes) lovingkindness meditation. You can choose whether you want a male or female voice, English or Spanish and if you want background music, no music, or forest or beach sounds. It also offers written quotes about kindness that you can flip through.

And finally,

Kind MindQ:

This is a collective consciousness app that appears to be a work in progress. The idea is for beings the planet over to focus on love, kindness and world peace. I'll stay tuned for the next generation of this app.

The bottom line is that Quixey is a winner.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Little Critter Hansel and Gretel

Little Critter Hansel and Gretel: a lift-the-flap book by Mercer Mayer, 2010.
Not surprisingly, this book has the most radical changes to the story that I've yet seen. Of their own volition, Hansel and Gretel happen to be taking a walk in the woods, when they are warned by a black bird to turn back. They ignore him and go to the witch's sweetie house, but instead of eating it, they ring her doorbell. She feeds them enchanted food and later puts Hansel into the dungeon with the usual plans to fatten him up. Gretel tricks her into helping retrieve a bucket from the well, and pushes her in. The evil witch emerges grumpy and dripping, but here comes the children's father, who has been searching for them all along. They go home, leaving the witch stuck in her well. There is no verse used and the bird provides brief running commentary on the action.
This book uses the heavier cardboard pages appropriate to a lift-the-flap title. Hansel and Gretel are cute, bucktoothed furry creatures readers will recognize from any of the Little Critter series books. The red-eyed hag in the woods appears to be an alligator or a dragon in a typical black witch's outfit, including peaked hat. Kids can lift the flaps to find things like the witch's candy house, Hansel sleeping in a sack, a mouse and a crumb in an otherwise empty breadbox and more. 

Hansel and Gretel illustrated by Dorothee Duntze

Hansel and Gretel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Anthea Bell,  illustrated by Dorothee Duntze, 2001.


  • Mentions God
  • The one who wants the children taken to the forest is their mother, not a stepmother
  • Hansel drops pebbles but says he is turning back to look at a white kitten on the roof
  • Children follow a white bird to the witch's house
  • House is "built of gingerbread and roofed with cake, and the windowpanes were made of clear sugar."
  • Witch promises no harm will come to them
  • Hansel is locked in a shed instead of a cage
  • Children ride a white duck across the water to get home
  • Mother has died

"Nibble nibble mousie,
Who's nibbling at my housie?"

"The child of the sky,
the wind blowing by."

"Here by the water, little duck,
Hansel and Gretel are out of luck.
There is no bridge, a boat we lack,
Carry us over on your white back."

"That's the end of my tale --look there goes a mouse!
If you catch it in your lap it will make a nice fur cap."

Duntze's surrealistic illustrations provide a dramatic and interesting interpretation of the tale. In the first scene when the starving woodcutter and his horrible wife try to decide what to do, the woman's head covering is bread and she is forcing her husband to look at four miniature caskets. The father's cap is sprouting twigs or trees and he cradles his tiny children surrounded by ferocious forest animals. His actual children look on in dismay. The children are led into a forest featuring what looks like large slices of bread. When the kids return home, the father's hat is growing flowers.

Hansel and Gretel, with golden shocks of hair like dandelions, are first shown innocently playing a hand clapping game. The crotchety witch is dressed like an old peasant woman with too much rouge and sparse and stubby teeth. She looms over a crying Gretel disconcertingly. Her oven has devilish features, and Gretel shuts her into its open maw.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thing 21: Free -for -all

Two apps that I find useful in my day to day life are Pill Monitor and Meditation Timer. These are admittedly not thrilling, but they are very helpful.

Pill Monitor Free Medication Reminder from Maxwell Software lets you enter the meds that you are taking and allows you to set reminder alarms. So, when it's time to take my pills, little birds begin to sing. It will also keep a history of  up to fifty entries for you.

Meditation Timer Free from Maxwell Software simply allows you to set a gentle timer for your meditation sessions. You can enter your preparation time, start chime, interval chime and an end alert. For these, you can hear either a bell, a singing bowl or Tingshas. They also show various soothing images on your phone, but since I close my eyes during meditation, it's pearls before swine. :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hansel and Gretel by Tony Ross

In French, but with the same cover art
Hansel and Gretel by Tony Ross, 1989.


  • Does not mention God

  •  Stepmother stays at home while the father does the dirty work of leading the children into the forest

  • Devious owl takes the children to the witch's house

  • House is "... built of cake, with an icing roof, and a garden fence of gingerbread men."

  • Witch is preceded by her nose, which pops out through the letter box: "It was not a nice nose, and it was green."

  • Kids have a hint that something wrong when they find tadpoles in their jelly at tea.

  • Hansel is put into the cellar, not a cage

  • After Gretel pushes the witch into the oven, the house collapses

  • Children ride a swan across the water to get home, but it asks for all the treasure that Hansel has in his pockets in payment

  • Stepmother vanishes in a great ball of fire and the smell of burnt cake

  • Gretel saved a pearl under her cap

  • Verse: none

    Tony Ross personalizes the tale with a funny tone and the added details mentioned above. His stepmother is a horrible person, snarling at her husband to dump the children in the forest and referring to them as "two extra, useless, snivelling mouths to feed" and then calling "Goodbye, darlings" as they are led away. In response, the woodsman creeps around sadly and allows himself to be bullied.

    Much of the book's humor come from Ross' art. When Hansel and Gretel return home the first time, their cat waves the British flag at them, while a mouse prepares to bop the cat on the foot with a hammer, as the cat is standing on the mouse's tail. At the witch's table, she serves Gretel a beverage in a frowny face mug. And as the oven overheats, well dressed mice vacate the gingerbread house carrying tiny luggage.

    The story is full of animal friends and foes: the cat and mouse at home, a bat, rabbit, fox and others in the forest, cats, a frog, a snail and a fork-toting rat in a witch hat in the gingerbread kitchen, and the jewel-decked swan who gets the children back to their father.

    Ross' adults look pretty grotesque anyway, but the witch has the added bonuses of green warty skin, scraggly teeth, Pippi Longstocking style stick out braids and an impossible half moon face.

    This would be a keeper for me if I ran across a copy!

    Thing 20: Games

    Frogger Free:

    "You know you remember Frogger. Okay, maybe you’re too young (or too old?) to remember Frogger, but it’s a very fun game where you have to help the frog cross the street so he doesn’t get killed by a car. This was a very popular arcade game years ago and now you can play it on your mobile device."

    I am the right age to remember this game. Then: It had a catchy theme song (which I didn't hear this time around) and I liked it because it was about a frog rather than invaders from space. Also, I was terrible at it. Now: I appear to be somewhat better, probably because I can use my finger to move the frog rather than a button or joystick. I played this in the classic and current view, but the app kept crashing.

    Bubble Mania:

    "If you think Candy Crush is addictive, try Bubble Mania. The baby kittens have been stolen and you need to get them back by matching bubbles. Match bubbles of the same color to drop them and get to the kittens. There are over 150 levels and they become more difficult with a variety of different types of bubbles the higher you get."

    You had me at "kittens." Okay, they are some creepy looking cats, but if you just forget what they're supposed to be and accept them as kinda cute cartoon animals, all will be well. I played up to level 7. This is a maybe.

    Word Collapse:

    "Each puzzle in WordCollapse contains a number of words on a theme, such as fruits, sports or animals. All letters are mixed and you find a word and swipe it. The tiles disappear and the remaining tiles collapse into new words. The tricky bit is to remove the words in the correct order so you clear the board and complete the level. 70 levels, more via in-app purchase. Languages: English, Español, Italiano, Português, Français, Deutsch, Nederlands, Svenska, Norsk, Dansk, Suomi."

    This was okay. Unlike other games I can play on autopilot, I did have to think a bit to do this. I played "20 Proverbs" and some of "Song Quotes, Free." I don't like how after every level a "Earn 15 free hints" type ad comes up. The game was fine, but not particularly addicting/intriguing.

    I already have some games that I regularly play. These are:

    Kitty Solitaire & Sweeper:

    I only ever play the solitaire game. I have to say, that on a little iPhone it can be hard on the eyes. Also, you don't have to play it very many times before you realize that the aces and low suit cards will always be in one of the seven piles and never in the cards that you shuffle through.

    That's okay, though, because the special feature of this game is that you get to collect cats. In between hands, cats walk into your room and you try to befriend them with toys, treats, etc. When you tame them, you get to "collect" them. This is stupid but fun for me.

    This game provides me with a whole new, mess free way to be a crazy cat lady!

    I also play Castle Solitaire and Jelly Splash and have recently started Candy Crush and Farm Heroes.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    Thing 19: Hobbies


    "For those with a green thumb or interest in discovering who online might have gardening advice, try MyGarden. This web service and companion mobile apps categorizes itself as the Facebook of gardening. Share what is in your garden, ask for help identifying plants you would like to add (or eliminate), and get useful information for your growing zone."

    This seems like a good idea, but time will tell. Aside from my log in, this is what the app looks like once you get it downloaded. After I signed in, I first went to "Plant overview" and began to add the flowers in my gardens. I figured the easiest way to start was to go to "all plants" and add from the existing list.

    If you are interested, here are the 22 plants that I added:
    1. Balloon Flower 'Sentimental Blue'
    2. Baptisia australis
    3. Bee Balm
    4. Campunula 'Clips Blue'
    5. Cat-mint
    6. Columbine
    7. Evening primrose
    8. Fern
    9. Flowering Crabapple
    10. Garden Lady's-mantle
    11. Hardy Geranium, Cranesbill
    12. Lily-of-the-valley
    13. Love-in-a-mist
    14. Morning Glory 'Heavenly Blue'
    15. Oriental Poppy
    16. Paeonia lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt'
    17. Pink
    18. Scilla Siberica
    19. Shasta Daisy
    20. Snapdragon
    21. Sweet alyssum
    22. Sweet Violet
    This is how this displays:
    This is not all of the plants in my garden, assuming that they all come up/plant well, but I don't see a way to add plants that aren't yet in their list.

    That leads to the problem that I did have with this app. It is not especially self explanatory. When I set up my account, I could see from looking at other gardener's profiles that there must be a way to add your photo and biographical information, but I never found it. Instead, I cheated and went to the website and added my info from there. I also noticed that you can add tags about your garden, which again I had to do from the website.

    Here's my profile:

    So, I'm happy to have learned of the existence of www.mygarden.org, but when I use it, I'll do it from the website and not the app, because I want access to all of the features. It does seem to be a unique social network for gardeners though, at least in app form. I've never found another one like it.

    Note for gardeners: I think that MyGarden could be improved if users were asked to put more information about their gardens in their profile. Currently it asks for city, country and size of garden. When I was trying to find like-minded gardeners, I was looking for state, zone or region of the country (I know it's an international site, but it would be helpful for U.S. users), and garden conditions, like primarily shade or sun, etc. It just seems practical.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Thing 18: Education

    Project Noah:

    "Project Noah is an award-winning mobile application that helps nature lovers discover local wildlife and aspiring citizen scientists contribute to current research projects. Noah stands for networked organisms and habitats. Think of Project Noah as a tool people can use to document and learn about their natural surroundings and as a technology platform research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere."

    This app looks like fun, and as it happens today my coworker Carol and I saw some red and black birds that we found out are Scarlet Tanagers. I google searched "red bird with black wings" and from there found info at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds.

    So, with Project Noah, I was able to record what I saw under "My Spottings." Kind of. Here are some things that I found out while trying to do so. 1).You must have a photo of the wildlife you have seen, or the information that you enter will not save. 2). It must be your own photograph or it will be deleted. I didn't take a picture of the birds that I saw, so I tried entering the photo from the All About Birds site above. I wondered why it didn't site my source, and when I looked again about ten minutes later, the photo had already been deleted and a message about FAQs had been left. The brief bird information that I recorded is still there, but it says that I added it 19 hours ago, which is incorrect.

    You can also join groups with missions of spotting particular types of nature. I joined Minnesota Wildlife (Plants) and Minnesota Wildlife (Animals). I also earned the Tadpole patch for entering my first sighting.
    3D Brain:

    "Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures. Discover how each brain region functions, what happens when it is injured, and how it is involved in mental illness. Each detailed structure comes with information on functions, disorders, brain damage, case studies, and links to modern research."

    I used this one to take a brief tour of the brain. Specifically, I was interested in what part of the brain is responsible for anxiety and depression. Apparently, the culprit is the Amygdala. Little jerk.

    There are many interesting educational apps listed, so I will probably be doing a part 2 in the future, but for now I can't wait to move on to Thing 19: Hobbies!

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Thing 17: Connecting to Community

    Minneapolis by Open Spaces: "This app is a great way to find great places and events in Minneapolis. You can also submit information and photos, but all items are approved by an editor before being added to the content."

    I was not satisfied with the ease of use of this app and have already deleted it. When I tried to make an account I got a system error message. From what I can tell, this app is for searching, not browsing, but I have no way of knowing if everything was displaying correctly. What I got was a search box, period. When I tried to search with the keyword "theater," the little wheel spun for 5 minutes and pulled up nothing. I looked for further instruction under the "about" page, but found nothing concrete.

    I also tried:

    Going Out: "Created by the Star Tribune, this app guides you through the latest happenings in the Twin Cities metro, from the hottest nightlife to family-friendly attractions."

    I got more satisfactory results from this app than with Minneapolis by Open Spaces. When I entered the app, the screen below appeared, which is much more obvious to use than anything that displayed on Minneapolis by Open Spaces.

    I actually tried this out a couple of weeks ago. Maybe this isn't a fair judgement, but I looked for what I already had plans to do and couldn't find it, which annoyed and disappointed me.

    From Friday, April 25:

    Hunting around, I could not find what I am actually doing tonight, going to hear Jack Zipes speak at the Loft Literary Center's Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference preconference. Here are the juicy details from the Loft's website :


    Anxious Adults, Real Children, and the Liberating Story

    "Speculative stories, be they fairy tales or dystopian novels, have long enraptured young people—and unnerved adults, from parents to oppressive government officials. Yet these fanciful tales offer a door in the wardrobe, a portal to new possibilities. Why then do these same stories often trouble adults? What cultural beliefs about childhood do these anxieties reveal? And what is the hidden power of such fairy tales, fantasies, and dystopian worlds? To explore these questions, Jack Zipes will offer the Czech film Who’s Afraid of the Wolf, by Maria Prochazkova (2008, unavailable in the US) to illustrate his view that “children read the world through fairy tales.” Children’s literature scholars Marek Oziewicz, Lisa Von Drasek, and Jack Zipes will then discuss the unique possibilities of speculative stories for young people as well as adult resistance to these tales.

    Panel moderated by Charlotte Sullivan."

    To give Going Out a less agenda driven second chance, I'm now (5/12) looking under their Best Bets section to see what they suggest. Under the selection Stage & Comedy I am surprised to see suggestions beginning May 3. If these were eliminated, it would make choosing easier.  Looking for this coming Saturday, I see: Crimes of the Heart at the Guthrie, Song of the Jasmine at the Walker Art Center, and Bandara at Old Arizona. Expanding this out to Stage & Comedy (not Best Bets), selecting "tomorrow +5" for my date, and looking at May 17 I also get
    • Zenon Dance Company at Cowles Center
    •  Rocket to the Moon at New Century Theatre
    •  Dave Fulton at Acme Comedy Company
    • The Three Musketeers at Guthrie Theater
    •  A Pedalpub Named Desire: Love in Minnesota at Brave New Workshop
    • Aziz Ansari at the Orpheum Theatre
    •  Lilies of the Field at The Open Window Theatre
    •  Alternative Motion Project at Southern Theater
    • The Dinner Detective at Courtyard Marriott Minneapolis Downtown
    •  Love, Loss and What I Wore at Theatre in the Round
    • Guinee Sogue at Ritz Theatre
    • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center
    • Star City: A Russian Space Farce at Open Eye Figure Theatre
    • Mrs. Charles at Nimbus
    • Shrek: the Musical at Children's Theatre Company (Which we already saw, by the way and really enjoyed!)
    • Detroit at the Jungle Theater
    • The Saved by the Bell Show at Bryant-Lake Bowl
    • Greg Bancroft and Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito at Magers & Quinn
    • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Breck School
    • The Drunken City at The Lyric at Carleton Place
    • Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca at Washburn High School
    And even more. Those are some incredible choices for a single Saturday night. And that is just in one category of entertainment. When you tap your selection, you can quickly find out  details like what time it begins, what address it's at and how much it costs. You can add it to your calendar, find nearby bars and restaurants and share it. You can also get a quick link to the venue's website. Pretty handy!

    On the down side,  I also know that the wonderful Ten Thousand Things theatre group is also putting on the play Dirt Sticks by Kira Obolensky at Open Book that night, and I couldn't find it listed under any keyword search.

    Still, I have to revise my original doubtful opinion about this app. It may not be perfect, and it may not find everything that I would like to do, but it sure won't leave me sitting home on the weekend from lack of choice. I think Going Out stays on my iPhone.

    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    Thing 16: Audio


    "Audioboo is a very simple application where one can record up to three minutes of audio. Recordings (called “Boos” in Audioboo) can be shared via Audioboo, Facebook, Twitter, and more, and you can also find and follow other people within the app."

    Making the Audioboo recording was incredibly easy. You just push record and speak. For my trial, I recorded myself reading a new book that I'm keeping in mind for storytime, Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann. This is a sweet story of a blossoming and unexpected friendship.

    As always, it was a shock hearing how my voice sounds in a recording, but beyond that I am happy with the way it turned out. There was ample time to read the book. I would share it here, but I think that would be a copyright violation. The only problem with Audioboo is that you can't rewind and record over any mistakes that you might make. Since my first read-through wasn't perfect, I would need to re-record it if I really was posting it somewhere. Also, since I'm not sharing it anywhere, I don't know how difficult that would be.

    Still, I think that I would use Audioboo, at least professionally, if I was given a opportunity.

    The Magic Tapestry by Demi

    The Magic Tapestry: a Chinese Folktale retold and illus. by Demi, 1994.
    In this satisfying tale from China's Guangxi Province, an old mother spends years weaving a perfectly beautiful tapestry, but just as she shows it to her three sons, it is stolen away by the fairies. The mother instantly falls ill and begs her oldest son to retrieve it. When the eldest boy finds out he must either endure hardships and danger to find it or can instead have a box of jewels, he takes the easy way out and runs off to the city with his new wealth. The selfish middle child does the same. His poor old mother has now blinded herself through weeping. Fortunately, the heroic youngest brother keeps his promise and faces fire, bitter cold and having to knock his front teeth out and feed them to a stone horse in pursuit of the tapestry. He saves the weaving, helps heal his mother and wins himself a fairy bride in the bargain!
    Demi has retold and also illustrated the story, using colorful backgrounds of of pink, purple, blue and gold. As she often does, she uses a perspective that shows a whole scene with small, active figures, such as the family chasing after the tapestry as it is blown away by a mysterious, sudden wind or the eldest brother leaving the guardian spirit and making off with his jewels, crossing over a bridge and heading to the city before him. Two of the most exciting pictures are of the youngest boy as he rides his horse through two pages of leaping red and gold flames and then of curling icy waves. The final illustration shows the happy mother, son and fairy bride, living in the now real, former tapestry. They are surrounded by blossoms and lovely birds and animals.

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Hansel and Gretel Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

    Hansel and Gretel Retold by Rika Lesser, Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, 1984.


    Lesser's retelling is based on "the tale's first transcription by Wilhelm Grimm (1810) and its first appearance in print (1812)..."

     Does not mention God
    The one who wants the children taken to the forest is their mother, not a stepmother
    Hansel drops pebbles but says he is turning back to look at a white cat on the roof
    Hansel drops breadcrumbs but says he is turning back to look at a pigeon on the roof
    House was "...built out of bread. Its roof was made of pancakes and its windows of sugar candy."
    Gives detail on the witch, including her keen sense of smell
    Hansel is kept in a "little stall" rather than a cage
    Mother dies


    "Nibble, nibble, nubble! Who gnaws my house to rubble?"

    Zelinsky's  formal and historically true oil paintings won this book a Caldecott Honor. From the Gale Biography of Children's Authors:

    "Illustrations for Rika Lesser's adaptation of Hansel and Gretel brought Zelinsky his first Caldecott Honor Book award. His research for this title took him on long walks in the Connecticut woods. "When I remembered [the story], the image I first thought of wasn't the house; it was of the children lost in the big woods and how small the children are," Zelinsky recalled in his Horn Book interview. He patterned his illustrations after seventeenth-century Dutch genre paintings such as those by the painter Steen, whose work he viewed at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also drew inspiration from a painting his great-grandmother once did of Hansel and Gretel. Zelinsky worked from detailed pencil drawings projected onto stretched paper. From these he created watercolor paintings which were in turn overpainted in oils. The result was, as Sylvia and Kenneth Marantz noted in Horn Book, a "pastiche of seventeenth-century painting styles." Regarding the sequencing of his illustrations for Hansel and Gretel as well as for other creations, Zelinsky noted in Horn Book that he actually works out of sequence with the story. "I tend to learn how to do what I'm doing better as I do the book," Zelinsky commented, "and the later drawings are generally better than the first ones.... So the book would start out crudely and become facile at the end." To avoid this, Zelinsky consciously jumps around in his selected illustrations."

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/paul-o-zelinsky-children-s-author#ixzz30V1Sg8UM

    And here is a picture of Zelinsky's witch:

    Hansel and Gretel Illustrated by Adrienne Adams

    Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm,  Illustrated by Adrienne Adams, 1975.


    •  Mentions God
    • Hansel drops pebbles but says he is turning back to look at a white cat on the roof
    • Children think that their father is nearby in the woods, but he has fixed a tree branch to strike a tree to sound like an axe cutting wood
    • Hansel drops breadcrumbs but says he is turning back to look at a dove on the roof
    • Children follow a white bird to the witch's house
    • House was "made out of bread and was covered with cookies."
    • Witch promises no harm will come to them
    • Gives detail on the witch, including her keen sense of smell
    • Hansel is kept in a shed rather than a cage
    • Children ride a white duck across the water to get home

    " A tap, a rap, a tap again.
    Who's tapping on my windowpane?"

    "It's the wind that's so wild.
    It's the heavens' own child."

    "Oh, little duck! Oh, little duck!
    The two of us are out of luck.
    No bridge, no plank. Alas, alack.
    Won't you take us on your back?"

    "My story is done,
    See the mouse run.
    If it's caught in a trap,
    You can make a fur cap."

    It doesn't say, but I would guess that Adams' art is collage based. Her approach to the story seems serious but not too scary. She uses many somber colors such as brown, black, and blue-grey. The father and stepmother actually look like they could be starving with shadowy eyes, weak chins and pointy noses.  The children appear very small  in comparison to their wooded surroundings. Adams' witch is a very familiar witch stereotype, minus the green skin. She is hunched over, dressed in a black peaked cap and black dress and has the expected long warty nose, sharp chin and scraggly grey hair.