Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Snow White in New York by Fiona French

Snow White in New York

Perhaps my favorite picture book version of the Snow White fairy tale is Snow White in New York by Fiona French.  It's not a new book, originally published in 1987, it is quite simply an ode to Art Deco with a fairy tale.  Yes, it's unusual for a picture book to stay in print that long.  It doesn't hurt that it is bright and colorful but not garish.  For that it received the Kate Greenaway Medal from the American Library Association which hasn't hurt it either.

Here are a few images from the book if you are not familiar. 

Here's the original review from Publishers Weekly, too:

Astonishing pictures highlight this sophisticated book about a classy New York dame named Snow White. Her troubles come when her father marries the Queen of the Underworld, who resents Snow White's popularity. Snow White is left by one of the Queen's henchmen to die on the streets of New York, but she stumbles into a club where seven jazzmen make her their singer. She's a hit again, so the Queen throws a party for her, doctoring Snow White's drink with a poison cherry. All of New York turns out for the funeral, but when her coffin is jolted, Snow White wakes up; the cherry was merely lodged in her throat. Suave and witty, this story is elevated by its pictures to dizzying, art deco heights. This might be readers' first look at a unique style of art, but they may wish for a change in the endingSnow White's stepmom should have been given a pair of cement shoes!
The story was rather a natural fit for the setting.  It reminds me of a restaurant I used to enjoy in another time and place in my life--name forgotten--that used the schtick of being a high class Prohibition speakeasy.  Fun for a night out. 

1 comment:

  1. My five year old daughter loves Snow
    White. This is also another favourite for both of us . The Art Deco imagery works perfectly. xx