THE SNOW ROSE by Michel Laroche


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First published in Australia in 1983, this tale of a cunning troubadour and his discovery of love is marked by striking use of silhouetted figures set in lush fairy-tale surroundings. To win the hand of the vain Princess Ermina, Roland, a handsome troubadour, enters the king's contest to undo the knots that bind the king's treasure. On his way he stops at an inn where the innkeeper's lovely daughter, Rose, falls in love with him. Unaware of Rose's love, Roland goes to the castle, and wins the contest. The Princess implores her father to set another contest to see if Roland is ""as clever in summer as he has been lucky in spring."" Waiting for this contest, Roland and Rose become close friends, but Roland's heart is still set on winning the Princess' hand. Roland passes the next test, but the Princess asks her father to see if he is ""as sharp-witted in autumn as he has been fortunate in summer."" When Roland passes the next test, a fourth is set. On Christmas Eve, Princess Ermina says to Roland: ""Find me a flower, summersweet, as delicate and wild as those that rambled last June over the castle wails."" At last, Roland realizes how precious his patiently-waiting Rose is: ""I have found my sweet wild flower, by flower for all seasons--my snow rose."" Full-page watercolors in brilliant colors set the story in chateau country in 18th-century France. Dramatically, the characters are illustrated as black silhouettes, adding a courtly note to this elegantly designed picture book.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Holiday House