I bought this book because the cover was interesting, and the first few pages had me laughing out loud in the book store:
"Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome. I know, I know. You don't believe me. I don't blame you. A little while ago, I wouldn't have believed it myself. Little girls in red capes skipping around the forest? Awesome? I don't think so. But then I started to read them. The real, Grimm ones. Very few little girls in red capes in those. Well, there's one. But she gets eaten."
This book is a retelling of 9 Grimm fairy tales that are adjusted to feature Hansel and Gretel as the main characters. Not much of the gruesome stuff it changed from the original Grimm version, and thus this book is bloody at times. The author relieves some of that by jumping in at times with his own commentary, clearly marked by a bold-face font. Also weaving throughout the book is the theme that children should be valued and not cast aside as many of the adults in Hansel's and Gretel's journey did.
I particularly liked this line at the end:
"There is a wisdom in children, a kind of knowing, a kind of believing, that we, as adults, do not have. There is a time when a kingdom needs its children."
Four stars simply because some of the "icky" stuff makes it hard to recommend this book across the board.