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Author: Phelan, Matt
A darkly stylized noir Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan. In graphic novel format.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (08/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (07/16)
The Hornbook (00/09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 This intelligent graphic novel version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” places the action in New York City in the late 1920s, with seven homeless boys taking the place of the dwarves and stock-market ticker tape guiding the wicked stepmother instead of a mirror. Sweet heroine Samantha has inherited a significant sum of money from her father, and her stepmother will clearly stop at nothing to get all the estate for herself. The story incorporates many familiar elements of the familiar tale, including the poisoned apple and the kiss being as catalyst for awakening, and then expands for an older audience. Samantha has just enough spark to make her interesting, but the increasingly evil stepmother and the quiet but loyal boys are the real stars here. There’s grittiness to both the illustrations and the sparse text-it’s clear that most of this takes place after the stock market crash meant the collision of decadence and desperation. The visuals are deeply effective: entire sections are wordless, propelling the reader through dramatic scenes and inviting reflection during quiet, contemplative spots, as when the boys watch over Snow White’s sleeping form. Pencil, ink, and watercolor illustrations break out of loose panel structuring; sharp lines and shadow heighten tension and expanses of open white space sometimes draw the eye to a specific scene. This graphic novel will find a welcome home with fairy-tale fans who have outgrown the Disney version (or, less likely, the Grimm version) but still find the tale compelling. Final full color illustrations not seen. AS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 4–8—Spanning the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, Phelan's noir-esque adaption of the classic fairy tale is atmospheric, clever, and touching. Samantha White, affectionately called Snow White by her ailing mother, is sent off to a boarding school as her father, the King of Wall Street, grieves his wife's death by marrying the dazzling Queen of the Follies. Banished from her home by her stepmother, the young woman returns a decade later after her father's mysterious death. Not content with the fortune left to her in her husband's will, the menacing bob-haired villain dispatches Mr. Hunter to kill off Snow, who gets lost in Hooverville, where she encounters the Seven, a group of diverse street kids who take her in. The graphic novel plays with the source material, using the trappings of the time period to add depth and nuance to the narrative. With the dramatics, pacing, and mostly black-and-white palette of a silent film, the lush and stark watercolors showcase the good and evil aspects of the era to tell a timeless tale of love, betrayal, and family. Splashes of red are economically and strategically used to add drama to the presentation, from the drops of blood on Snow's mother's handkerchief to the scarlet of the poisonous apple. Themes of class are also explored here, making this a title worth sharing and studying at multiple levels. Especially resonant are the relationships that the heroine builds with her young protectors. The last few colorful pages will tug at heartstrings as Snow, the Seven, and an intrepid Detective Prince get their happy endings. VERDICT A stunning, genre-bending graphic novel for all middle grade and middle school collections.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2016 In a series of silent-movie-like vignettes, Phelan puts a Jazz Age spin on the classic tale of Snow White. Born to a wealthy steel magnate, Samantha White, known as Snow, wants for nothing until her mother dies, her father falls hard for a Ziegfeld girl, and her new stepmother ships her off to boarding school. When her father suffers an untimely death and her stepmother starts receiving villainous messages from a stock ticker, Snow runs away, finding refuge among a gang of seven street kids. Phelan punctuates his fittingly noirish palette of smoky, shadowy grays with bursts of pink and red—soft, aqueous patches for cheeks and lips with more saturated tones for apples. At times, the murky nighttime scenes are inscrutable, but readers will be charmed by subtle references to the iconic Disney film version, such as a street kid who’s always sleepy and the stepmother’s death by electrocution via a faulty wire on the Ziegfeld theater marquee. Readers hungry for graphic adaptations of fairy tales will find their appetites slaked here. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.