Snow White & Rose Red

retold by Kallie George. illus. by Kelly Vivanco. 40p. Simply Read Bks. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781927018347.
Gr 3–4—Although opposite in appearance and personality, two sisters live in domestic bliss with their mother. "Both girls were helpful, grateful and loving and never thought badly of anyone or anything." They give shelter to a large black bear one winter night, and he remains until spring. He then goes off to protect his treasure from an evil dwarf who will have emerged from his underground home. The girls encounter the little man on four different occasions, and although they rescue him from various situations, he is ungrateful and uses vituperative and abusive language. Finally, the bear appears to protect the siblings, kills the dwarf, and, released from the spell cast upon him, becomes a prince again. Snow White marries him, Rose Red marries his brother, and their mother comes to live with them. Throughout the tale, the girls' kindness and compassion are emphasized, and their happy ending is well deserved. The text varies little from the one found in The Complete Grimms' Fairy Tales (Pantheon, 1944) or that in Adrienne Adams's beautifully illustrated version (Scribner, 1964). The artwork here, however, has a greeting-card quality to it. All of the characters have unnaturally large eyes and oddly proportioned arms. The colors used are murky purples and browns with dark backgrounds that seem in contrast to the characters' sunny and gentle personalities, and the flora and fauna in the forest are often puzzling. If Adrienne Adams's version is still in good shape, there is no need to purchase this one. Ruth Sanderson's Rose Red and Snow White (Little, Brown, 1996) is also a better alternative.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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