Blue Flower

Hansel and Gretel - a Picture Book with Richard Scholz's illustrations

Hansel and Gretel is a well-known fairy tale about a brother and a sister who are lost in wood. They found an isolated house made of sweets only to be captured by a man eating witch is much stronger than the kids, they eventually manage to trick her to get in her oven. After that Hansel and Gretel safely return home but not before they search the witch's home and find loads of gold. In this version we see a whole family (including their mother) happy in the end.

The book is first in the series of four, all of the same format, published by van Holkema & Warendorf in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1905. As we will see, they used a two color printing in combination with full color printing. The illustrator was Richard Scholz (1860-1939), German painter who studied in Karlsruhe and worked mostly in Dresden and Munich.

After the inside paper the title page with all the necessary credits follows.

It's pretty amazing what they achieved with only two colors, right?

We are introduced to the family. They are hungry and pessimistic. It looks they all gonna die from starvation. In such hopeless situations kids were seen as a unnecessary burden.

They were living in the wood. Full of live, full of dangers.

Children heard the horrifying plan - they will be taken to the woods and left there!

Hansel tried to mark the path, leaving a trail for the kids to be able finding the way home.

The plan didn't work. They are lost. They are alone. And they are very hungry.

Well, it looks their luck changed. They found a house made of ginger bread and an old lady who invited them inside.

But the old lady was actually a cannibalistic witch who wants to eat them both. She'll try to fatten Hansel and Gretel a bit first.

Hansel is locked in a cage and Gretel must help the witch.

Gretel outsmarted the witch and pushed her in the oven. She rescued herself and her brother!

It looks we have a happy ending after all.

Kids brought home a treasure from the witch's hut, parents were happy seeing them and they lived happily ever after.

Here are listed all the titles from the series: Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, all illustrated by the best German artists from the beginning of the 20th century. Precious gifts for kids in those times and very desirable items among collectors of vintage children literature.

Do you know Hansel and Gretel is one of very rare classic fairy tales with more than one main character? Even more - we have an interesting dynamics between the siblings. At first Hansel is full of ideas, solutions, active, protective and brave. When he is imprisoned, for some time it looks everything is lost for the kids. But Gretel surprises everybody with her suggestion to the witch. She pushes the wicked witch in the oven and saves the brother. If we remember the version from Grimms' collection, she had an idea to delay her brother's death with a chicken bone, serving as an indicator of slow fattening process and she is the one who finds the way for safe return of both children across the river.


More about this special fairy tale can be found in next article:

For us there is only the back cover to check:

That's it. Hansel and Gretel or Hans en Grietje by Richard Scholz.