Give the gift of this stunningly illustrated fairy-tale reimagining from the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of The Wonderful Things You Will Be this holiday season—sure to be a modern classic!
Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do. . . .
Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.
Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.
But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.
This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.
In Snow & Rose, bestselling author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin retells the traditional but little-known fairy tale “Snow White and Rose Red.”The beautiful full-color illustrations throughout and unusual yet relatable characters will bring readers back to this book again and again.
“The deeper meanings of the [story] do emerge, but the pleasure . . . is paramount.” —The New York Times
Emily Winfield Martin is a collector and lover of fairy tales, and the original Grimm’s tale of Snow White and Rose Red enchanted and haunted her all her life. She is a painter of real and imaginary things, and the author and illustrator of such books as Dream Animals and The Wonderful Things You Will Be. Emily lives among the giant trees of Portland, Oregon, and if you need her, you might look in the heart of the woods. Visit her online at emilywinfieldmartin.com.
Snow & Rose 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this text from Kid Lit Exchange in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
I love a good fairytale. When I was in college and working on my own middle grade manuscript, I did a lot of research into the structures, archetypes, and themes of fairytales. After a lifetime of fairytale fanatics, a year of reading research about the original fairytales and writing my own, I feel pretty well-versed in the subject. Snow & Rose is a new middle grade fairytale based on the original tale Snow-White and Rose-Red, which was collected by the Brothers Grimm while traveling through Germany. The story features two sisters, Snow and Rose, after they've experienced a riches-to-rags shift in their life. Once a wealthy family, Snow and Rose lose their opulent lifestyle when their father goes into the woods one day and never returns. After his disappearance, the two girls and their mother retreat to a tiny cottage in the very same woods. There, the girls stumble upon a cast of characters as strange and manipulative as the original fairytale archetypes. The woods are enchanted, and the trees think that it's Snow and Rose who were meant to break the spell.
This story is beautifully told -- the prose is really impressive for a middle grade novel and I loved that it was almost lyrical. I loved, too, that there was something metacognitive about it all -- as if the fourth wall was being broken through real storytelling. At the very beginning of the story, the narrator says, "Snow and Rose didn't know they were in a fairytale. People never do..." and that was the very line that hooked me. Like many of the original fairytales, this story did not shy away from hardship, but unlike the classics, it wasn't gory and did have a happy ending. I thought the relationship between the sisters was interesting, but there was something almost reserved in the storytelling -- as if the story itself was ethereal and hard to grasp. Highly recommended for young readers who like tales featuring magical creatures and mysterious spells, and also for adults who appreciate nostalgia for classic fairytales.
More than 1 year ago
Snow & Rose is such a heartbreaking, sweet fairy tale that I don’t even know where to begin. It seems to have hints of many other fairy tales–some haunted woods, a father that never returns, a rich family down on their luck and living in poverty. However, what I loved most about this story is the focus on the sisters and their relationship; they are the best of friends, continuously taking turns comforting and challenging each other, and helping each other to become stronger.
The sisters (and their mother) are forced to move into a cottage in the woods that claimed their father; Snow is convinced that they can find their father and have him return to them. Rose fears the worst for her dad and tries to moderate Snow’s hopefulness. Though they fear the woods, they adventure out and explore them, meeting all kinds of people and creatures along the way, slowly discovering the mystery of the woods and why so many have become lost within it.
Enchanted woods stories are always must-reads for me, and the characters the sisters meet on their adventures are delightful. There’s a quirky librarian who has a library of stories in the middle of the forest and encourages the sisters to borrow a story each; the huntsman who tracks down the most dangerous creatures living in the forest; a boy whose family sells mushrooms, and with whom they become friends. They’re all wonderfully realized, and this story is a delight from beginning to end.
The illustrations are so fitting for this story. Simple, cute, sweet. They added a lot to keep the atmosphere just the right amounts of creepy and magical. I enjoyed them a lot and think that Martin is very talented.
I definitely recommend this for young people who love fairy tales and are just starting to delve into reading. This would be a great bridge between kids books and middle grade books. It isn’t overly complex or scary, and the illustrations are a nice touch. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
More than 1 year ago
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin is a middle grade reimagining of the Snow White and Rose Red fairy tale as told by The Brothers Grimm. It is littered with beautiful illustrations and colorful characters that fit seamlessly into the story and enhance the tale Winfield is attempting to tell.
From Ivo and his mushroom farming parents living in their underground hovel to the creepy-sometimes-mean-sometimes nice elf Snow and Rose encounter on their adventures, Winfield does a wonderful job describing the people and things of the forest in words and images. Many readers may fall in love with the Librarian, a strange woman Snow and Rose discover one day while exploring. Her library was not a library of books, but of things. Upon encountering the Librarian for the first time, readers may be hopeful her unusual library would be a key to solving the mysteries of the forest and the disappearance of Snow and Rose’s father. Full of wisdom, the Librarian does provide Snow and Rose with objects that help them on their adventures, but the Librarian unfortunately does not stick around for long. Like most things Snow and Rose encounter in the forest, the Librarian’s appearance is fleeting.
While the world and the characters that inhabit it is beautifully imagined and drawn out in great detail in the illustrations, the actual plot of Snow & Rose is lacking. A lot happens to Snow and Rose, but the danger is quickly resolved. The danger and fear never seems real or perceptible. Snow & Rose is intended for middle grade readers so perhaps adult readers may expect too much from the actual story and as a result it may truly never deliver. It is possible that younger readers may feel more pull in the story than adult readers. The story may also be better served being read aloud to young readers than read silently as much more feeling and emotion can be conveyed vocally.
In the end, Snow & Rose may not stand up for adult readers. The beautifully rendered world with vibrant, loveable characters portrayed through amazing illustrations isn’t enough to rescue the slow, unexciting pacing of the plot which doesn’t seem to add much to the pantheon of the Snow White and Rose Red fairy tale. Overall, Snow & Rose is a disappointing read with beautiful pictures.
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