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

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hansel and Gretel by Beni Montresor

Hansel and Gretel by Beni Montresor, 2001.

    The details of  Montresor's concise story deviate quite a bit from the Grimms' version. The children are sent into the woods by their mother to pick strawberries, but they get lost on their own. Their parents worry when their offspring don't return, because the woods are infested with an evil monster, terrifying devils and witches. As the children spend the night in the forest, they dream that heavenly angels watch over them, and when they awaken, a castle has taken the place of the woods. This is the witch's home, and she wastes no time in throwing Hansel into a cage and forcing Gretel to prepare the cooking fire. Gretel uses the witch's magic wand to free Hansel, and together they push her into the fire. Other children imprisoned by the crone are now freed and the children are heroes. The tale ends there, with no reunion of the children and their parents.

Verse: none

Montresor uses dramatic silhouette art to tell his adaptation of the story. Bold backgrounds of colorful green, royal blue, red, etc. contrast with the white profiles of the children. The evil creatures are readily identifiable: red devils carrying pitchforks, green witches riding brooms, and a yellow eyed monster with a face like a Puffer fish. Likewise, the host of angels,  colored mauve and yellow, have crowns, wings and outspread arms. Though I personally don't care for what I feel are unnecessary changes to the story, the art makes this book stand out.

No comments: