Book Review: It’s Not Hansel and Gretel by Josh Funk

It's Not Hansel and Gretel cover image

When hard times hit Hansel and Gretel’s family, their father takes them into the woods and leaves them there. The storyteller says it was part of an evil plot to get rid of the children. But the two urchins know he was just going home for blankets to keep them warm, and then he lost his way.

In It’s Not Hansel and Gretel, writer Josh Funk brings humor to the classic fairy tale, with the children challenging the narrator every step of the way. He insists there were breadcrumbs, they say no way. He says an evil witch lives in the house in the forest, they are quite sure she’s a sweet old lady. Gretel objects to Hansel always coming first in the telling; Hansel puffs up from a strawberry allergy. In the end, the children take over telling the story and create their own fairy tale finish.

Edwardian Taylor’s illustrations show two big-eyed innocents who look for the good in the people around them and love unicorns and rainbows. Pages are filled with lots of color and details that are fun to discover, like the mouse musketeer in the witch’s kitchen, and a cast of bad characters from other fairy tales lurking in the woods.

It’s all great fun for parents and children, who are bound to get a chuckle out of this inventive retelling of Hansel and Gretel for modern times.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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