Summer Reading Craft #4



This week we read Hansel and Gretel as re-told by Cynthia Rylant and beautifully illustrated by Jen Corace.  The Grimm Brothers told some creepy stories, didn’t they?  They were the fear-mongers of the 19th century; now we just have cable news.

This faithful re-telling of the story starts off:

It has been said that guardian spirits watch over and protect small children, and that may be so.  But there are also stories of children who find the courage to protect themselves.  Such is the story of Hansel and Gretel.

I really don’t recommend this tale for the littlest of children, but my four-year-old and six-year-old were able to handle it now that they have some semblance of rational thinking — enough to realize that there are no children-eating witches (but they are not ready to read The Road yet).  The illustrations have a handmade aesthetic with Hansel and Gretel sleeping under a very nice quilt and romping through the woods in cool indie clothes.  Ooh, and I love the witch’s wallpaper.  That witch has great taste.


Anyway, we decided to make a cake house for the story project.  Originally I wanted to make a printable paper house that the kids could color, but my kids wouldn’t stand for it.  “It says that the house is made of cake and sugar!”  Okay, fine.  So we got a boxed cake mix and some hippie-style organic candy, and there you go.  Cake house.  Apparently our house has a pet elephant too.  I’m sure you can make something much more elaborate, maybe even with a house-shaped pan.  Give it a try.


8 comments to Summer Reading Craft #4

  • I’m new to your site but I LOVE IT! and i think this is such a fabulous idea! my son is staring to be old enough to do little projects with and we are having a blast. thanks for all the great ideas. we are starting on your 50 summer crafts to do with your kids- tie dying tomorrow and homemade bubbles this weekend. can’t wait!

  • OOO I get to be the firs tone to post?? YAY!!! Your little house looks so yummy 🙂 I loved the Grimm brothers growing up, read every book with their stories in it that I could get my hands on lol I think it’s wonderful that you create some sort of craft for the books you guys read 🙂

  • I adore your site, found you through Soule Mama. Would love to feature your blog on The LOVELY List. Email me if interested,
    xoxo Brandy
    p.s I am so happy to have found all your kids craft ideas.

  • i have recently found your blog, i think it is great. i found the 50 summer craft project was very useful and have been passing it around like crazy. my girls love working from books as well –

  • I had a big book of Bros. Grimm fairy tales when I was a kid, and I remember being amazed that they weren’t quite the same as Disney. I was gripped though, and the more gruesome the better! My enduring memory of that book is of the ugly sisters mutilating their own feet to fit into Cinderella’s fur slipper. Don’t think that would have been appropriate to make into a cake though. Ah, the innocence of childhood!

  • Anne


    I am a new visitor to your site but I have to agree with you about this version of Hansel and Gretel — it is our favorite. Sinister without being creepy. I LOVE the idea of a cake house — we’ll have to try that. Thanks! I’ve added your site to my daily favorites! 🙂

  • love this illustrator version of the Grimm story- I really enjoyed this project that you did- what a yummy way to enjoy the story!

  • i thought of h&g for my story stone fairy tale series, but deemed it a little too creepy…at least for now. i’m planning to explore the princess and the pea and thumbelina next.


    love your site, by the way.

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