Book Review, fairy tale, N4

[N4] ヘンゼルとグレーテル

The fairy tale “Hänsel und Gretel” is a famous German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm: Siblings Hansel and Gretel are left in the woods by their parents and encounter a wicked witch. This version is a retelling in simple Japanese by the NPO Tagengo Tadoku.

I grew up with Grimm’s fairy tales as bedtime stories told by my grandmother. I liked Hansel and Gretel because the house sounded so tasty, but I remember it being quite long and falling asleep before the end.

This retelling in easy Japanese is shorter and is in both vocabulary and grammar a perfect fit for N4 readers. The description of the house still sounds very tasty:

「ケーキやチョコレートやキャンディーで(つく)ったお菓子(かし)(いえ)」= “a house built from confectionaries like cake, chocolate and candy”

This fairy tale is part of a graded reader set by the NPO Tagengo Tadoku and Taishukan. The set contains 7 books, including three fairy tales, two folk tales and two fictional stories.

It really is a wide collection of great stories: While the fairy tales are more traditional, e.g. the folk tale 「()っこき(よめ)」(= The Farting Bride) is downright absurd and very funny.

You can purchase this set through Amazon Japan.

Length: 15 pages

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