Dark and creepy. Love the artwork. Not a new take on a familiar story, but well executed nonetheless.
Loved it! I found it sparked discussion among the kids about how hungry they've ever been...
We all know that fairy tales are scary but with bright colorful pictures we (or I) often forget. The dark pictures accompanying this version make it known that this is a dark tale!
Mattotti's drawings are haunting and daring. Gaiman's reimagining of the tale pales against the illustration. He doesn't introduce any real new idea to the story. Sure, he doesn't call the old woman a witch, but that doesn't change the connotation. She and the mother of the kids are depicted as evil, and they get punished. Gaiman's language is beautiful, but that isn't enough to make me love his version of this fairy tale.
Gaiman puts his own spin on the fairytale, but is also more faithful to the original. No more evil stepmothers- the biological mother is the one making the cruel choices in this book. There is no more witch- just a terrible, malevolent old woman.
I might not read this story in full to a young child as it is pretty dismal until the end. Even the illustrations won't quite amuse them- they're all black and white and have a generally gloomy feel.
Do I recommend this book even with these caveats? Absolutely. It's a wonderful tale and even includes a short history of the fairytale at the end of the main tale.
Nothing new is added to the story by Gaiman here and the stark, black and white artwork add little to the overall tone either.
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