Vojtěch Kubašta’s Hansel and Gretel

I’ve long wanted Vojtěch Kubašta’s pop-up book of Hansel & Gretel, and now, with the excuse of ‘It’s research for my own Hansel & Gretel project’, I’ve finally found and acquired a pristine copy. Here it is in all its glory.


In the Forest.

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The Witch beckons Hansel and Gretel into the gingerbread cottage.



A clever slider-mechanism removes Hansel & Gretel from the corner of the cottage, shutters the left-hand window, opens the door to reveal the Witch, and has the children, now inside, waving from the right-hand window.


There are lovely details in the picturesque interior.




Hansel caged.



Cage door up …


… and down!


The children slide the Witch into the oven on a wooden baking paddle.




They escape, crossing a river on the back of a friendly swan.



This edition published in 1976 by Artia, Prague.

Vojtěch Kubašta, genius of pop-up books, 1914 -1992

9 thoughts on “Vojtěch Kubašta’s Hansel and Gretel

  1. What a fabulous thing! Putting the witch in the oven is heavenly….every little person would love to push that slider (and grown ups too). Pop-up books are the bee’s knees…..I still remember the ones I had as a child. I think that any purchases that are connected with work are ok. More than ok. Necessary. Mandatory, even. That’s what I tell myself and I’m sticking to it…..

  2. I am totally captivated by this pop-up version of Hansel & Gretel, so thank you for sharing these pictures with us, Clive. How deeply satisfying it is to find the perfect opportunity to give oneself the permission to buy a long-desired book!! (-:

  3. This looks great. I am going to try and find a copy for myself, but I’ ll have to keep it hidden until my grandchildren get older : all the pop up I had, my own children destroyed when young, before I realised the danger small children meant for those books …

    • Be vigilant when reading any online descriptions of the conditions of the books, Maria. These pop-ups are fragile, and unscrupulous dealers sometimes gloss over, or make light of any damage. (One description I read at Abehbooks claimed that although none of the mechanisms in a copy of Hansel & Gretel were working, this didn’t detract in any way from the charm of the book!)

      My copy arrived today, and was just about perfect, something that had been very clear in the description. There was a single slider mechanism that had become displaced, though it wasn’t obvious to the inexpert eye. I was able to repair it with minimal interference, and the book is now as new, with everything in working order and none of the creases and tears that can be so defacing.

      If the description of a pop-up book doesn’t give any account of the mechanisms and their good order, then assume the worst, and avoid purchasing!

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