This is a peculiarly cool, ethereal, emotionless ""Hansel and Gretel""--down to the two pretty, almost-wraith-like children and the almost-monochrome landscapes. As usual with Jeffers, there are lots of textured tree-trunks and lots of prominent, largely extraneous animals (here, though, you really see the birds swooping down to eat those crumbs). But it's an abstracted, rarefied beauty that not-too-congruously fills these pages--and into which are set the paper-doll figures of the children. Once one gets into the old witch-woman's house, moreover, all is paper-doll playacting. Nothing involves the onlooker with the children's plight initially, nothing evokes the very real danger they're in. The telling has no spirit or flavor either--but it's the pictures that really drain out the vital juices here.