Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel stumble upon the gingerbread house. Prismacolor pencil.

Hansel and Gretel



Boy and girl

Dreams of sugar.

So who could blame them

For feasting on candy?

No other child could resist

A whole house made of gingerbread.

But they learned their lesson in the end,

How all those pies and cakes can make you fat.

So now they don’t much like the taste of sweets.

They’d rather have something healthier,

And Gretel never learned to bake –

She doesn’t like ovens much.

Hansel carries breadcrumbs

Everywhere he goes—

He’s paranoid

When he walks

In the


The syllable poem I wrote years ago to go with the illustration I finished yesterday.

I love this story, and quite frankly I’m surprised that it hasn’t found the same mainstream appeal as Little Red Riding Hood. For one, Gretel rescues herself and Hansel without the help of some chance hero passing by. For another, the visuals are so delicious I’m amazed Disney hasn’t jumped all over trying to bring the gingerbread house to life yet. It has a strong message about dealing with the circumstances you’re given no matter how dark they can be.

I chose it to represent November and Thanksgiving because it’s a story about family coming together around good food. That being said, there’s always that one guest or relative who manages to ruin everyone’s day. And more than a few of us have had some oven mishaps trying to get dinner on the table. Hansel and Gretel not only have their stepmother, who turns them out to starve when the family’s food supply runs low, but also the witch who decides to take the opposite approach and fatten them up to eat them. But when the story ends, the children have full bellies and glad hearts as they reunite with their father who loves them. May that be true for all of us!

Can you think of any books or movies based on Hansel and Gretel? If not, why do you think Disney hasn’t touched this fairy tale? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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