Hansel and Gretel

Written by Rika Lesser and Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Hansel and Gretel are brother and sister. Their family is very poor and can't afford to feed them, so their parents leave them in the woods. Trying to find their way home, they come across a cottage made of food--pancakes, cookies, bread and candy. They are so hungry they start to eat the house, and the owner comes out side. An old woman, who is a witch, invites them in, feeds them and tucks them in bed. During the night, she locks Hansel in a cage and in the morning she makes Gretel work in her house and feed Hansel to fatten him up. She plans on eating Hansel when he gets fat enough. When she's ready to eat him, she makes bread to go with the meal. She asks Gretel to climb in the oven to check if the bread is ready, planning to trap, roast, and eat Gretel as well. Gretel fools the witch by asking her to show how to check the bread. When the witch climbs in the oven, Gretel locks the door and burns up the witch and helps her brother escape.

Age Range 4 - 8 years
Copyright Year
Page Count
Puffin Books
Grade Level Pre-K - 3
Lexile 680