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A HANDFUL OF BEANS by Jeanne Steig


Six Fairy Tales Retold

adapted by Jeanne Steig & illustrated by William Steig

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-205162-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

Many of the characters in these standards break into jingles—"Hansel skinny or Hansel fat, / He shall be eaten, and that is that"—at pivotal moments; otherwise, the stories are traditional versions, lightly massaged to bring out their humorous or ironic aspects. Beast (“Beauty and the Beast”) and the wolf (“Little Red Riding Hood”) are both elegantly attired in the freely drawn, full-color cartoon illustrations; Beast is unfrighteningly doggy-looking, and even the title story’s snaggle-toothed giant is seen only in a nonthreatening posture, slumped sound asleep over his treasure. Fans of James Marshall’s droll takes on some of the same chestnuts, such as Red Riding Hood (1987), will appreciate this small, poised gathering. (Folklore. 8-10)