Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hans My Hedgehog retold by Kate Coombs

Born to parents who desperately wanted a child, Hans is half hedgehog and half boy. He plays the fiddle, rides a rooster and keeps a herd of pigs. His differences drive him to live alone in the forest. Promises from kings mean brides for Hans, but can they free him from his hedgehog self?

What I thought: I'd never heard of this tale. I keep resolving at intervals to read all of Grimm's Fairy Tales, but I never quite manage it and "Hans My Hedgehog" is towards the end. I liked this retelling, especially Kate's word choice. This would be a lovely story to read aloud. It reminded me of the story of Beauty and the Beast. As first, I didn't care for the illustrations, but then they grew on me. The colors are quite striking. The author's note was nice. Kate is upfront about the changes she's made to the story. As always, I read the original tale. I agree with the changes she made.

(Illus. John Nickle. Atheneum, 2012)

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