Hansel and Gretel

retold by Rika Lesser, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

A poor woodcutter's children, lost in the forest, come upon a house made of cookies, candies, and other goodies. It is occupied by a hungry witch who loves to eat children.

Hansel and Gretel must use their imagination and intelligence to save themselves and find their way home.

This retelling is based on the first transcription by Wilhelm Grimm in 1810, revised and published in 1812. Some of the story elements have changed through the years. For example, in this version the wife is also the mother of the children (perhaps a more disturbing scenario than a stepmother). The witch is shown to be a gnarled old woman and her query is "Nibble, nibble, nubble! Who gnaws my house to rubble?"

The richly detailed oil paintings were awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1985. They clearly convey the emotional setting and reinforce the traditional feel of this classic tale.