Borders of lacy wisteria and thorny wild roses add elegant atmosphere to this sweet version of the classic tale.
Sage and Gibbs’ rendition, based on the Grimms’ “Briar Rose,” ends with the marriage and goes for the empty calories, equally careless with details and eager to leave behind the grimmer aspects of the original. The “spindles” ordered burned in the wake of dark-skinned Malevola’s curse are spinning wheels in the pictures, as is the item on which Princess Rosebud at last (somehow) pricks her finger; when Prince Florizel arrives a century later, he wakes her (by kissing her hand). The joyous couple goes off to a happily ever after, thus avoiding the rape, secret marriage, and cannibalism featured in old versions of the story. Gibb makes effective use of silhouettes and also of a wordless spread to underscore the tale’s more melodramatic moments. Elsewhere, Rosebud and her royal parents, along with a flutter of tiny gossamer-winged fairies, float and gesture gracefully in sumptuous pink and pastel settings framed by lush (if sometimes thorny) floral garlands.
A sugary take, distinguishable only in minor ways from those illustrated by Maja Dusíková (2012), Kuniko Craft (2002), and a fairy coachful of like romantics. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-8)