Hans in Luck: Seven Stories by the Brothers Grimm

adapted by Felix Hoffmann. illus. by Felix Hoffmann. 256p. North South. Sept. 2017. Tr $30. ISBN 9780735842816.
Gr 3–5—Fairy tales have always inspired great illustrators such as Walter Crane, Leslie Brooke, and Arthur Rackham to enhance the simple and direct narratives and imbue the stories with emotion. Hoffmann does this brilliantly in this beautiful addition to the genre. The large design, illustrated in magnificent color, perfectly complements these seven tales. The frequent use of white space highlights the colorful comical flat figures in "Lucky Hans," as well as the charm of the family at table and the little sister in the "Seven Ravens." The expressive faces and postures of the animals and the human figures eloquently capture emotion from the fearsome figure of the witch in "Rapunzel" to the comical visage of the cow in "Tom Thumb." The illustrations are exquisitely rendered in bright colors and the details are a pleasure to peruse and ponder. The titular story of this collection is said to be an adaptation by Hoffmann. However, in Jack Zipes's The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: Third Edition, that version of "Lucky Hans" is almost identical to the one here. A clearer method of adaptation is pointed out in the afterward of "Rapunzel," in which the ending was changed to satisfy the curiosity of Hoffmann's children.
VERDICT A most worthy addition to fairy-tale collections in school and public libraries.

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