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*Snow White* by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Quentin Gréban
Snow White
by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Quentin Gréban
Ages 4-8 32 pages NorthSouth June 2009 Hardcover    

In this Brothers Grimm fairytale, Snow White almost dies four times. But a wild boar’s heart is cut out instead of hers, the seven dwarves arrive in time to save Snow White from the effects of a constricting lace bodice and a poisoned comb, and a shake felt inside her coffin releases the apple that was stuck in her mouth.

There is no kiss between Snow White and the prince who falls in love with her, but they do marry. It’s at the wedding that Snow White’s stepmother is punished: she is made to wear “red-hot iron shoes” and dance until she dies.

Snow White appears here with long, black hair and a pale pink complexion. Her dress consists of layers of red and white with ruffled edges. Snow White’s stepmother has long black hair as well, but it’s tied back in a bun and covered partially by a crown. When she looks into her handheld magic mirror, asking “who is fairest of us all,” she wears a long dress made of grays and dark blues. Children will see her appearance change though as she transforms herself into three different old and stooped women to fool Snow White.

The seven dwarves mine for gold, their pale pink complexions matching Snow White’s. Although they each dress a little differently, they all wear long red stocking caps. When they meet Snow White, they agree that she can stay with them in their little house in the forest if she cooks and cleans for them. Although they grow to care deeply about Snow White, they allow the prince to take her glass coffin when he says he ‘cannot live without looking at her face.’

The tension is palpable in the Brothers Grimm rendition of Snow White, but Quentin Gréban reminds us that we are in a fairytale land with his illustrations of the magic mirror, the forest setting, the prince astride a white horse, the sneering stepmother and a bubbling cauldron. The sky is bleak in color when Snow White is in danger but becomes yellow and bright when she is saved by the prince.

Belgian author and illustrator Quentin Gréban studied art, and his several picture books include Mommy, I Love You and Nestor. He has also illustrated many picture books, including Sarah So Small and Wish You Were Here.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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