Louise Rowe
(Tango Books)

This pop-up version of Hansel and Gretel is so visually stunning that you will find yourself studying the pop-up scenes, taking in the intricate paper engineering and astounding attention to detail and totally forgetting about the text at first. The book only has six pop-up scenes and Louise Rowe has carefully chosen which parts of the story to focus on. Those six  pop-up scenes express so much of the story, that for those who are already familiar with the tale, no text is actually needed. The text recounts the story in its traditional form, told in a gentle tone, and is still a very good companion to the artwork. However, the darkness of the tale is very much found in the illustrations. The palette of colours is limited, in dark shades of green, brown and red and there is a repeating leaf pattern which you find throughout. This emphasises that the forest is very much centre stage in the traditional tale and in this specific adaptation.  Those dark colours are further emphasised by the white base of each pop-up scene. This helps gives the impression that the scene is leaping out of the page.

Louise Rowe’s Hansel and Gretel is a feast for the eyes and a prime example of how pop-up books can really bring a story to life. The paper engineering is very delicate and therefore it is probably best to wait for little readers to be at least three years old for them to fully enjoy this beautiful book.
Louise Rowe has also illustrated and designed pop-up versions of Little Red Riding Hood and more recently Sleeping Beauty and all will make lovely gift books which will be both admired and cherished.

Many thanks to Tango Books for sending a review copy of “Hansel and Gretel: a Pop-Up Book”.