Thursday, November 24, 2011

Flashback: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Laura Ljungkvist

I was recently reminding of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Laura Ljungkvist when she was featured on the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog. This was published in 2003 and was an unusual interpretation of the fairy tale with its illustrations. Ljungkvist's schtick, you might say, it is to connect her illustrations with a line running through them which is fun for many child readers. She's only done the one fairy tale and this one is always instantly recognizable to me.

The reviews were mixed on this one and its audience may be narrow, but it is interesting all the same.

From Booklist:

PreS-Gr. 2. Swedish-born artist Ljungkvist (Toni's Topsy-Turvy Telephone Day, 2001) holds up her own magic mirror to this age-old story, offering a thoroughly modern, crisply geometric reflection of the fairy tale. Here, a round-headed, triangle-nosed Snow White is the fairest in the land, so fair that the evil queen wants to feed her to wild animals. Of course, justice prevails in this stripped-down, but well-told, version of the favorite tale. The ultraclean artwork cleverly emphasizes the archetypal nature of this story of good versus evil, allowing Ljungkvist to use color and form to communicate mood and meaning. In one spread, the faces of the seven dwarfs are drawn with one continuous black line that children may enjoy tracing with a finger. The appealing, highly stylized illustrations--evocative of the work of Joan Miro and Vladimir Radunsky--appear to be computer generated, but in a note the artist says she uses gouache on watercolor paper to keep the imperfections that "give it life." A surprisingly fresh, visually exciting rendition. Karin Snelson

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