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Hansel & Gretel

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Deep in the forest lives a witch named Willow. She is a good witch, who only uses good magic--until she meets Hansel and Gretel.
Willow never used to worry about messy breadcrumb trails. Or entire portions of her gingerbread house being devoured. Or anyone fiddling with her spells and magic books and causing a ruckus. But Hansel and Gretel are two very naughty and ver
Hardcover, 30 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Peachtree Publishers (first published 2018)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Colona Public Library
This version of the Hansel and Gretel so different from the normal fairy tale. In this version, the witch is good and the kids are bad. The illustrations were good, and the color scheme was only three colors orange, white and black. I myself prefer a broader color palette. Willow the Witch doesn't lose her temper when Hansel and Gretel start to eat her house, but they are just getting started. Will Willow always be good?

Sue Read
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
You can tell this is no ordinary fairy tale by the devilish look of Hansel and Gretel early on in the story! These two don't look or behave quite so hard done by...eating Willow the witch's house and filling her house with spells...but really, can witches always be good?

I love stories that 'play on' our traditional heritage, super illustrations.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Woollvin does it again with a clever twist on a classic fairy tale. Rude Hansel and Gretel get their comeuppance in this darkly funny picture book.

I'm addicted to these! Love the 3-color palette and simple shape illustrations. This would make a great discussion book and writing prompt.
Hee! Another fun fractured fairy tale from Bethan Woollvin. I love Willow's triangular shape and the black, white, gray, and orange palette. You probably won't guess the ending.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
This is why I always say, "Just eat your problems away." Even if your problems are children or the rich.
This is a picture book retelling of Hansel and Gretel by the Grimm brothers.

While a role reversal between the traditional good guys and bad guys is a trend in contemporary fairy tale retellings, this is the first time I've read a version of "Hansel and Gretel" in which the witch is good and the siblings bad.

Willow is a good witch who lives in gingerbread house deep in the woods. Then one day two children appear strewing breadcrumbs. Willow politely asks them to stop as this may attract pe
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loooove this book! After a week like this one, "Hansel & Gretel" is the cathartic retelling of a classic fairytale I needed. Stylistically rendered in a limited pallet, this picture book explores crossed boundaries and women's anger. Illustrator Bethan Woollvin (@bethanwoollvin), doesn't tell the story of a bad witch, but a caring and generous witch. A witch who's ultimately violent actions are made understandable by the history of unappreciated labor and abuse left out of other recountings. ...more
Chance Lee
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-it
Willow is a witch and Hansel and Gretel are two awful children and Willow tries to be nice to them and they take advantage of her kindness and patience and they take and take and take until she just can't take it anymore and she (view spoiler) and I totally identify.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome illustrations & such a great twist at the end.
Breakaway Reviewers
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just deserts!

Willow, a good witch, has built her house of gingerbread deep inside the forest. She’s out walking and sees a trail of breadcrumbs. Following the trail, she finds a young boy and girl, Hansel and Gretel. Unfortunately for her, these are two young tearaways with mischievous intentions!

This is the most delightful re-invention of a childhood, all-time favourite fairy tale going back centuries.

The author, Bethan Woollvin, is not just good with words, her artwork is brilliant! Bright!
That One Librarian
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bethan Woollvin does it again with this retelling of Hansel & Gretel. Utilizing her distinctive minimalist color palette and gouache paintings, Woollvin turns this familiar fairy story on its head in a surprising way that still manages to retain the darkness of traditional fairy tails. Willow, who is a very good witch, follows a trail of breadcrumbs near her woodland gingerbread house to find a pair of children at the end. Despite their bad manners, she invites them in where they promptly fi ...more
Ms Threlkeld
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Perhaps we have been misinformed about Hansel and Gretel. Perhaps they were rather beastly children who deserved to be roasted alive. In this twist on the classic fairy tale, the witch is actually quite kind. She doesn't get angry when the wandering children eat her house. She isn't filled with rage when they eat the feast she has prepared and doesn't leave a crumb for her. She isn't even livid when they muck about with her magical objects. Then the siblings go too far and Willow the Good Witch ...more
L.H. Johnson
Hansel and Gretel but not as you know it; the kids are horrible little things and the witch, Willow, is - well, not quite what you think. I've known of Bethan Woolvin's stylish work for a while and so, when I received a copy of this to review from Two Hoots, I was thrilled. There's a part of the picture book world that embraces oddness; art that longs for wilful disobedience, that aches make a line curve when it should be straight, that wants to have a colour two shades darker than you might exp ...more
Following up on her two previous successes with fractured versions of classic fairy tales, Bethan Woollvin takes readers deep into the woods with Hansel and Gretel, the poor siblings whose family left them there, according to the classic story. But this version of the story is told from the perspective of the witch whose house they stumble upon in the woods. As it turns out, the witch, Willow, practices good magic. She follows the breadcrumbs they have strewn in the woods to them, but they turn ...more
Barbara Band
Sep 22, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: Under 8
This is the third fairytale revamp by Bethan Woollvin, the others being Little Red and Rapunzel.

Deep in the forest lives Willow, a good witch. One day she meets Hansel and Gretel who she invites back to her gingerbread house.
They are rude but she doesn't get angry because she is a good witch.
They gobble up all her food but she doesn't get angry because she is a good witch.
They even start eating her house but she doesn't get angry because she is a good witch.

Another fun, deadpan retelling of a traditional tale by Bethan Woolvin. I love her illustration style, which has carried through her versions of Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and now Hansel and Gretel. Its limited color pallet (usually just black and white and one other bold color) and heavy lines feels modern and minimal, but, since the pictures resemble woodblock prints, they still do great service to old-timey stories. This revision is particularly sinister, with siblings Hansel and Grete ...more
Kristin Martinak
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1st-grade
Hansel & Gretel by Bethan Woollvin puts a comical spin on the classic fairy tail. Willow, the good witch, finds the naughty Hansel and Gretel in the woods. They take advantage of Willow’s kindness, exploit her magic, stick her in the oven and destroy her gingerbread house. Willow is patient because she is a good witch throughout the book. By the end, Willow becomes angry and decides to cook and eat the children because she hasn’t always been a good witch.

I would use this book to teach seque
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in Bethan Woollvin’s series of reinvented fairy tales. Little Red and Rapunzel have both proved to be very popular. Once again Woollvin as used a minimalist orange, grey, black and white colour palette and simple shapes to convey her story. We have always been told that the witch in this story is evil and the children are victims of her cruelty, but what if the witch is actually good and the children rude, ill-mannered and naughty?

Children will be cheering on t
Erin Buhr
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A feisty and delicious take on this classic fairy tale. In this version, Willow - the good witch and owner of the tasty house - is minding her own business when two naughty, rude children start to try her patience. I don't love the use of the word "naughty" and there is a darker element to the conclusion, but the wry humor and alternative perspective are quite enjoyable. If you enjoyed Bethan Woollvin's take on Rapunzel and Little Red this you will find this equally satisfying.

Note: I received
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Bethan Woollvin on a personal level? I think her fairy tale retellings are simply hilarious (like Little Red just killing the wolf. The end!). Not sure how kids/parents would respond to it, since the humor is a bit dark/macabre. But then again, so are the original stories, so take your pick.

(Also, in this book the main character is the witch. And she is perfectly nice and lovely and patient with Hansel & Gretel as they wreak havoc in her house. S
HP Saucerer
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
It’s Hansel and Gretel’s turn this time for a Woollvin makeover, in this darkly humourous reimagining of the Grimm’s tale, told from the witch’s perspective. The good witch Willow only ever uses magic for good; she has a heart of gold and never loses her temper, but when the mischievous Hansel and Gretel arrive and turn her house upside down, her patience is duly tested, as she bids to prevent the ill-mannered twins from destroying everything she holds dear. A brilliantly funny twist on a classi ...more
Alicia Evans
Fractured fairy tales are the best. I really liked how far this narrative switched the fairy tale, making the witch good and the twins bad. Woollvin continues to use a limited color palate and their very distinctive illustration style. Fun.

For: fans of fractured fairy tales; readers looking for a book with a twist.

Possible red flags: characters in peril; not listening to adults.
Elizabeth Green
A retelling of Hansel & Gretel from the witches point of view. It leaves the reader wondering who was really good and who was actually bad. It’s fun, quick, and unique. It’s worth the read for any lovers of fairytales and retelling.

I enjoyed the illustrations and it gives me a spooky fun Halloween feel.
Stefanie Burns
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Little disappointed. The orange, white, black and gray color scheme made certain scenes hard to determine what was happening. Definitely a fractured fairy tale. Hansel and Gretel do end up getting cooked, but it might not be for the reason you think. At the end they are turned into cookies. Loved seeing what happens after they get cooked, not just in a pot.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Delightful! If you loved Jon Scieszka's _The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs_, you are going to enjoy the story of Willow, the GOOD witch, and the wretched children, Hansel & Gretel, who try to eat her gingerbread house.

Super cute...but be warned that there is a comically dark twist at the end. ;-)
Cheriee Weichel
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018
Willow is a good witch who uses only good magic. In this version of the classic tale, Hansel and Gretel are two despicable children who would try the patience of a saint. By the end I’m sure you will agree they get what they deserve!
Maggie Hesseling
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I haven't laughed this hard in a while. What a great and imaginative retelling of this sinister fairytale. Plus, Hansel and Gretel look exactly the way I pictured them in my head as a kid! And as all parents tell me, it's really difficult to stay so nice when there are kids who are so naughty.

Andrea Northam
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perhaps a good lesson for kids (and adults)--be good, kind, polite, and obedient or you won't be deserving of kindness in return. I am personally a huge fan of karmic retribution and schadenfreude. This book doesn't disappoint. However, not all parents may like the lesson it teaches kids.
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wickedly delightful, with just the right number of twists on the familiar tale. Hansel and Gretel might not be quite the innocent lovelies we've always imagined them to be ... and one really shouldn't test the limits of a witch's patience. Even a good witch.
Brooklyn Cribdon (The Wild Library)
Bethan Woollvin does such a great job re-telling fairy tales and this one is no different. I loved how the twins were the villains... at first. This re-telling gives the Witch much more agency and I'm sure young readers will get a kick out of the twins being so naughty!
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