Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel
~ Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Jane Ray (Illustrator)
  • Details: Paperback 30 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books
  • ISBN: 0744569605
  • Price: £5.99


The luminosity which has typified much of Ray's earlier work is magnificently on display here in the rich blues of skies pulsating with stars, in the greens and browns of the tangled forest, and in the pink and white icing of the gingerbread house. But with the first appearance of the witch we are in darker domains, the pictures here being dominated not merely by a literal sombreness but also by an attention to symbolic detail which directs us to the evil we are witnessing. The denouement brings a return to light and life, the transformation signalled in the new cheerfulness visible in the artefacts which decorate the witches abode. It all adds up to an indispensable addition to our store of Grimm imaginings.
Robert Dunbar in The School Librarian, Feb '98
Jane Ray, with her fluid text and glittering illustrations perfectly captures the sense of horror. Here is surely the most terrifying witch ever, with her tattooed wrists, her cape of feathers and her white masked face. And how delicious to discover that we never see the cruel stepmothers face. So THAT'S why she vanishes when the old witch dies! Children will want to tiptoe through these pictures again and again.
Junior Education, Jan '98
Jane Ray's Hansel and Gretel is a straightforward retelling with her own exquisite illustrations... Ray's use of gold paint lights up the night time forest. Her gingerbread house is perfection in shades of pink, and her witch is a white faced grotesque with a very alarming smile.
Wendy Cope, Daily Telegraph
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