From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–This is a rather conventional retelling of the Grimms' story except that Copper has recast the tale with animals in human dress. Snow White, her father, and Prince Charming are rabbits; the evil Queen is a cat; the huntsman a dog; and the seven dwarves are mice. The lush paintings feature deep, rich colors with romantic dress and details, set against velvety dark backgrounds. The illustrations lend a dramatic tone to the retelling, but the conceit of using animals in the human roles undercuts the effect and does little to further readers' understanding of or relation to the tale. In their fancy clothing, the creatures appear ungainly, awkwardly poised on two legs. Dav Pilkey's Dogzilla
(2003) and Kat Kong
(1993, both Harcourt) use animals to broaden comic effect, but Copper's effort will leave youngsters uninvolved. There are a number of better versions available, including Randall Jarrell's translation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(Farrar, 1987), which features distinguished art by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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K-Gr. 2. A familiar tale gets a decidedly different look here, with artwork that is as handsome as it is unsettling. Copper uses the unexpurgated version of the Brothers Grimm story in which the wicked queen, disguised as a peddler, visits Snow White in the forest three times. (Even little ones might wonder why, after two near-death experiences--with a too-tight corset and a poison comb--Snow White thinks it's a good idea to buy her apple.) The draw here is primarily the artwork--majestic oil paintings in which all the characters are animals. These are no sweet little four-legged creatures, though. The queen, a green-eyed cat, is both beautiful and loathsome as the story progresses; the seven dwarfs are mice dressed in jerkins and leather britches, their rodent characteristics evident despite their clothes; and Snow White, a pure white rabbit, is imbued with a simplicity that almost causes her death. Drawing on the realism of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century portraiture, the pictures cut a bold swath. Children may not warm to this, but they'll be fascinated. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved