Illustrated Synopsis: Hansel and Gretel

Illustrations by Sophie Hogarth
Text by Angela Marroy Boerger

Text for Screen Readers

Hansel and Gretel are starving and can’t concentrate on their chores. Instead, they dance around the kitchen to pass the time.

Their mother, Gertrude, returns and is furious that the children have neglected their duties. As a punishment, she sends the children to the haunted woods to pick strawberries.

The children’s father, Peter, returns home in high spirits with a basket of food. When Gertrude confesses that she sent the children into the forest, Peter warns her of a witch there who roasts and eats children.

In the woods, Hansel and Gretel pick strawberries. They are unable to resist the fruit and eat them all in a frenzy.

When their bellies are full, they realize they are lost and become afraid of the strange sights and ghostly voices in the wood.

The Sandman appears and enchants Hansel and Gretel. He puts them to sleep and brings them safely to the land of dreams.

In a dream, 14 otherworldly creatures surround the children. They watch over them as they sleep and prepare a lavish feast for them to eat.

When they awaken, Hansel and Gretel follow a delicious smell to a huge Gingerbread House. They hear a sinister voice from inside but continue eating until they are drawn inside the house.

The Witch welcomes the children and feeds them sweets, talking of fattening them up.

Hansel and Gretel don’t trust the Witch, and when they try to run away, she freezes them with a magic spell.

The Witch makes Gretel assist her in the kitchen. Gretel is terrified when she finds the gingerbread bodies of other children. When the Witch isn’t looking, Gretel releases Hansel.

The Witch asks Gretel to check the oven, but the children know that she really wants to roast Gretel. When the Witch opens the oven door, the children push her inside.

With the Witch dead, the gingerbread children return to life. Hansel and Gretel are reunited with their parents, and everyone gives them thanks as they celebrate the Witch’s demise.