A Tale Dark and Grimm – Adam Gidwitz (2010)

Another fairy tale remake! This book claims to tell “the real story” of Hansel and Gretel. It starts with Faithful Johannes (supposedly about Hansel and Gretel’s parents), then uses that as motivation for why Hansel and Gretel ended up eating the witch’s house. After that, we skip through other random fairy tales following Hansel and Gretel, who are sometimes inserted into the story in odd ways. Most of the fairy tales, like Brother and Sister, don’t really follow the original story much, but it’s all tied together pretty nicely by Hansel and Gretel wandering around looking for trustworthy adults and getting into scrapes. The last couple of chapters seem to be original adventures for H&G, to wrap up the story.

Throughout the book, the author stops the story to talk to the readers. Ever read the Princess Bride? It’s just like that, kinda cute. He’s constantly warning the reader to make sure that there are no kids around because the story is about to get scary, and it kind of is. There are beheadings, kids get chopped up, Hansel eventually visits Hell and sees sinners getting tortured, etc.

This book wasn’t bad, but I don’t think I’d read it again.


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