cover image Rose Red and the Bear Prince

Rose Red and the Bear Prince

Brothers Grimm. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027966-0

Illustrator Andreasen (Halley Came to Jackson) solos for the first time in an attractive, lucid adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale ""Snow White and Rose Red."" Here, Rose Red is an only child, and it is her mother, not Rose Red, who is terrified when a bear knocks at their cottage door one wintry evening. A friendship ensues, and Rose Red is sad when the bear leaves in search of the wicked dwarf who stole his three treasures. Soon, she herself encounters the dwarf and helps him out of one predicament after another; in this version, she demands one of the stolen treasures each time she offers rescue. Her efforts break the spell that had turned a handsome prince into the bear and set the stage for a happy ending. Andreasen puts his own stamp on classic fairy-tale illustration with an intriguing blend of lush vignettes and modern graphics. Using a subtle checkerboard overlay, he draws the eye away from each scene's main elements, inviting readers to explore the whole composition. It's an invigorating touch, as is the repetitive swirling motif that echoes from Rose Red's auburn locks to the branches on the trees, clouds in the sky, ripples in the water and the dwarf's own wild mane. Touches of gilt in the borders and title pages add elegance to the polished presentation. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)