cover image Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Cynthia Rylant, ., illus. by Gustaf Tenggren . Disney Press, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1861-9

Rylant's poetic, restrained retelling of this well-loved story is a noteworthy addition to the trove of retold fairy tales; like the recent Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella picture books, this adaptation uses art from the original Disney movie. From the opening “It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends” to the closing “They lived in love ever after,” her prose resonates with the timbre and rhythm of a classic. However, Tenggren's painted illustrations, created for the 1937 animated feature, are an imperfect accompaniment to Rylant's graceful language. While endearingly familiar to Disney devotees, the images are often dark and grainy and are presented in oddly shaped silhouettes or in rounded squares and rectangles that stand out awkwardly against the pastel backgrounds. Additionally, ornate design flourishes and embellishments that surround the pictures and text create sometimes-muddled pages. Still, while other editions of Snow White may be more pleasing to the eye, Rylant's elegant, euphonious text delights and inspires. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)