________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 30 . . . . April 10, 2015


Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs.

Davide Cali. Illustrated by Raphaëlle Barbanègre.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover & ebook, $19.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77049-763-4 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77049-765-8 (ebook).

Subject Heading:
Snow White (Tale)-Adaptations.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.

Review by Vasso Tassiopoulos.

**** /4


Snow White could see right away
that life with the dwarfs might
be difficult. For starters, how was
she going to learn all their names?
And there was A LOT to do.


Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs is a new and colourful take on the classic and familiar fairy tale. The humorous text, by Davide Cali, and animated illustrations, by Raphaëlle Barbanègre, bring forward a very practical thinking Snow White that readers, young and old, will be able to relate to. The narration and the illustrations intricately work together to paint a modern thinking Snow White. In the story, the dwarfs’ highly demanding daily routines quickly take a toll on Snow White’s well-being from the moment she considers living with them in order to get away from an initially unidentified witch.

     As the story progresses, Snow White’s emotional appearance ranges from wide-eyed and worried on the first page of the story, to astonished, to somewhat content, and then overall exhaustion in each of the following illustrations. The dwarfs’ daily demands range from “beard maintenance”, to packing 77 lunches, to each dwarf’s wanting “His OWN bedtime story”. As Snow White takes care of the dwarfs, the dark circles under her eyes become darker and darker, and her once wide eyes become tired slits. When a line appears across her forehead and the dark circles under her eyes are at their darkest, she decides that she has had enough of the dwarfs and storms away to visit the witch. In the humorous and somewhat dark conclusion, Snow White chooses two poison apples and eternal slumber over a life of stress and exhaustion.

     Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs is an unconventional version of the story that readers of all ages will enjoy. The lively and colourful illustrations bring the story to life and will keep readers fixated on each page. The humorous text also appears in word bubbles for spoken dialogue next to characters on certain pages which further makes the story lighthearted and cartoon-like. All of the small and careful details in the book make Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs a new version of the classic tale that readers will want to look at over and over again.

Highly Recommended.

Vasso Tassiopoulos is a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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