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SNOW WHITE by The Brothers Grimm

SNOW WHITE

By The Brothers Grimm (Author) , Quentin Gréban (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2257-3
Publisher: NorthSouth

Flemish watercolorist Gréban’s queen may not be “the fairest of them all,” but she steals center stage from his waifish Snow White—who is perhaps less beautiful than the (uncredited) translated text suggests. While the queen’s frightful, menacing presence is effectively apparent as she transforms herself throughout her doomed quest to destroy Snow White, the princess lacks the trademark “blood red lips,” and her small, close-set eyes and sometimes bulbous nose combine in a depiction that, while not ugly, is not exactly lovely either. She does seem naïve and innocent, which bolsters a necessary contrast with the queen. Also strong are the illustrator’s pictures of the satisfyingly individual seven dwarfs—one bespectacled, some clean-shaven, others bearded, etc. The inclusion of the often-omitted final scene with the queen dancing to her death in red-hot iron shoes (curiously white in the illustration) is deftly and gently handled with a picture that presents her in an awkward, foot-stomping stance that is tantrum-like rather than agonizing or scary. An uneven, though worthwhile, addition to fairy-tale collections. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)