Imagined through a 1920s lens, “Snow White” unfolds as a graphic novel.
Samantha White, nicknamed Snow, loses her mother at a young age. Her father, a shrewd and wealthy businessman, remarries a blunt-bobbed and ruthless actress known as the "Queen of the Follies." In their large New York City apartment, the ticker tape whirrs stock updates and reminders of their fortune without cease. This, however, gets to Snow's stepmother, and she starts to see insidious messages—just like the ones her fairy-tale counterpart received from her enchanted mirror—that ignite a deadly and consuming jealousy. She engages a man to kill Snow, who is ultimately saved by a gang of seven orphaned boys. Her stepmother finally exacts her revenge—with a syringe and an apple—until Detective Prince saves the day. Phelan masterfully shifts a tale heavily reliant on magic and fantasy into a realistic and historical setting without compromising plausibility. Creating sweeping and dreamy watercolors that play with emotion and color, Phelan is an exquisite visual storyteller, and he lets expressive, wordless sequences carry a large portion of his interpretation. With a keen historical slant, a bit of action and intrigue, high visual interest, and the fairy-tale leaning, this will awe a wide readership.
Brilliant. (Graphic adaptation. 9 & up)