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Snow White    by Grimm Brothers & Charles Santore order for
Snow White
by Grimm Brothers
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2004 (1996)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

'Once upon a time, in the middle of winter, when the snowflakes were falling ... a queen sat at a window… and sewed ... she pricked her finger with the needle, … blood fell on the snow ... she wished for a child as white as snow'. So begins the reissue edition of the nineteenth century classic 'Tale From the Brothers Grimm', Snow White. Artist Charles Santore uses exquisite watercolors to breathtakingly capture the emotions, mood, landscapes, animals, and characters featured in this lush picture book.

Though the Queen is granted her wish, she dies soon after her daughter's birth. The King is remarried to a beautiful, vain woman. The new Queen's magic mirror always answers the question of 'who is the fairest' to her satisfaction, until one day it responds, 'Snow White is fairer than you.' Filled with jealousy and rage, the Queen orders the huntsman to take Snow White into the forest and slay her. The huntsman, who can't bring himself to carry out the Queen's order, releases the girl into the woods. When the seven dwarfs return to their cottage after working in the mine, they find Snow White. Learning of the girl's whereabouts, the disguised Queen brings harm to her stepdaughter. The dwarves lay Snow White in a glass coffin ... 'And thus Snow White lay for many years.'

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm compiled folktales in their study of German culture, in the belief that 'folktales were reflections of the popular mind'. I am in awe of Santore's magnificent artwork in Snow White, a fairy tale that endures the test of time. I recommend that this rendition be added to every reader's collection, no matter the age. Additional Santore illustrations include those of The Wizard of Oz, and Aesop's Fable.

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