Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and other Versions…

Hansel and Gretel was originally published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers. It’s a story of German origin. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm heard the tale “Hansel and Gretel” from Wilhelm’s friend at the time, Dortchen Wild. Wilhelm later married her and she became Mrs. Grimm.

It’s possible that this fairy tale originated in medieval times when the Great Famine caused people to abandon children in the woods due to lack of food.

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Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Hansel & Gretel from 1909.

Hansel and Gretel is one of my personal favorite fairy tales from childhood. I was so fascinated with the story as a child. I used to have a copy of the Disney book that contained a record I could listen to on my record player. I can still remember sitting in my room and reading along with the story. This version is from Disney and came out in 1967.

Here’s a picture of the one I had a child.

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Here’s my review for this edition:

This is a little book and record that I must have listened to a thousand times when I was little. I can remember listening to this on my little record player repeatedly. Side one of the record is the story and side two contains three songs from the opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

I love the illustrations in this version and I’m amazed how clear the record sounds. As soon as it started playing it evoked nostalgia within me. I recently purchased it for my collection for my family to enjoy. It’s perfect for children to follow and it does have the page turn signal.

If you’re a Hansel and Gretel fan, pick this up online. There are a handful of other stories you can get to go with the series as well. You won’t be disappointed.

5*****

Continue reading “Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and other Versions…”

Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This week’s Pick is…

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel 

by Louise Murphy

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Blurb: In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed “Hansel” and “Gretel.” They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called “witch” by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children. Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.

My thoughts…

It’s nearly the end of the Nazi occupation of Poland and a father must abandon his children near a forest so that they can search for safety from the Germans. On the journey, they meet Magda, the so-called village witch. Magda is willing to risk her life and others to keep the children safe.

“The wheel turns. Blue above, green below, we wonder a long way, but love is what the cup of our soul contains when we leave the world and the flesh. This we will drink forever. I know. I am Magna. I am the witch.”

Hansel and Gretel has been a favorite fairy tale since childhood. It was most definitely one of the scariest. The way the author has taken the fairy tale, re-imagined it, and paired it with the evil nightmare of WWII is fascinating. The story feels so authentic. It’s incredible to me how the author has a way of keeping to the original story of Hansel and Gretel throughout, consistently hovering around elements true to the original fairy tale.

The story itself is dark and twisted and highlights the true evil doing against the Jewish, Gypsies, and dissidents during WWII. It was nothing like what I expected. I had an idea of the plot, but there’s so much more to the story. Parts of the story were so hard to get through, but I loved the characters especially Magda, Nelka, Telek, Hansel, and Gretel. Magna was surely my most prized character. The beautiful prose and specific elements reminded me of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, which is one of my favorite books of 2017.

There are discussion questions and an interview with the author at the conclusion which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not sure why it’s listed as having 320 pages. My book has 297 plus a few more for interview and discussion.

This book gets 5-stars from me…

5 Sterne


 

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Paperback: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142003077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142003077

 

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – September 14th -The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy”

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: a novel of war and survival by Louise Murphy

My Review:

It’s nearly the end of the Nazi occupation of Poland and a father must abandon his children near a forest so that they can search for safety from the Germans. On the journey they meet Magda, the so-called village witch. Magda is willing to risk her life and others to keep the children safe.

“The wheel turns. Blue above, green below, we wonder a long way, but love is what the cup of our soul contains when we leave the world and the flesh. This we will drink forever. I know. I am Magna. I am the witch.” Continue reading “The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy”