cover image Snow White

Snow White

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm, Charles Santore. Random House (NY), $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-20071-1

For this self-consciously lavish volume, Santore (Aesop's Fables; The Wizard of Oz) borrows the Brothers Grimm version of the familiar tale, then reimagines it through his naturalistic, sentimental paintings. He places the wicked queen's castle amid mountains and forests filled with rabbits, deer, bears and other wildlife. The characters wear the chivalric attire associated with fairy tales: hose and felt coats for the men, draped and corseted dresses for the women. Snow White herself is a graceful, tousle-haired maiden who fits modern standards for ""the land's most fair."" Whether or not readers enjoy this oversize hardcover depends on their acceptance of the dwarves (portrayed not as endearing creatures but as true human dwarves), their tolerance for the too-romantic artwork and their feelings toward the Grimms' text, which ends with the queen dancing herself to death in a pair of magic shoes. All ages. BOMC alternate. (Oct.)