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Snow White and Rose Red Hardcover – April 1, 1988
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|Hardcover, April 1, 1988||
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From Publishers Weekly
Every detail of this intricately illustrated volume seems to extol the triumph of beauty and purity, as symbolized by the lovely, fragile rose. Floral garlands adorn the book inside and out, and heart-shaped rosette wreaths frame each page number. Romping blissfully through the flora, the eponymous sisters exhibit a cherubic innocence, their chubby cheeks and rounded bodies suffused in a soft glow. In contrast the woeful bear embodies a feral shagginess, evoking the ursine images from Spirin's Once There Was a Tree. As with this artist's previous fairy tale interpretations, the superbly executed paintings enhance the story's grandeur; at times, however, the effect is somewhat diminished by the characters' frozen, china-doll expressions. This enduring tale distinguishes between the personalities of the two girls but, happily, makes no judgments. The book's handsome design adds to its Old World allure: text and art are set forth in ruled, arch-shaped borders, while Spirin's colorations suggest medieval tapestries. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Gr 3–4—Although opposite in appearance and personality, two sisters live in domestic bliss with their mother. "Both girls were helpful, grateful and loving and never thought badly of anyone or anything." They give shelter to a large black bear one winter night, and he remains until spring. He then goes off to protect his treasure from an evil dwarf who will have emerged from his underground home. The girls encounter the little man on four different occasions, and although they rescue him from various situations, he is ungrateful and uses vituperative and abusive language. Finally, the bear appears to protect the siblings, kills the dwarf, and, released from the spell cast upon him, becomes a prince again. Snow White marries him, Rose Red marries his brother, and their mother comes to live with them. Throughout the tale, the girls' kindness and compassion are emphasized, and their happy ending is well deserved. The text varies little from the one found in The Complete Grimms' Fairy Tales (Pantheon, 1944) or that in Adrienne Adams's beautifully illustrated version (Scribner, 1964). The artwork here, however, has a greeting-card quality to it. All of the characters have unnaturally large eyes and oddly proportioned arms. The colors used are murky purples and browns with dark backgrounds that seem in contrast to the characters' sunny and gentle personalities, and the flora and fauna in the forest are often puzzling. If Adrienne Adams's version is still in good shape, there is no need to purchase this one. Ruth Sanderson's Rose Red and Snow White (Little, Brown, 1996) is also a better alternative.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ --This text refers to the Paperback edition.