Award-winning author and illustrator Matt Phelan brings new life to an old fairy tale with his latest endeavor, Snow White: A Graphic Novel. Phelan places the story in a 1920s New York City and immerses the reader in that era completely.
Samantha “Snow” White finds her life controlled by a greedy stepmother when her bereaved father hasn’t the energy to oppose her. The stepmother’s anger toward Snow is focused on money and inheritance, rather than beauty, which fits well with the Roaring ’20s atmosphere. When Snow is forced out of the house, she finds seven young boys living rough on the streets. She becomes a mother figure to them, and in the end they rescue her even more than the “prince” does.
The artwork is mostly in black, white and gray watercolor wash, with little pops of bright color to highlight important scenes. The overall feeling is one of an early classic film, allowing the reader to fully experience New York before the stock market crash. Using images to convey action more often than words, Phelan’s “silent film” is a masterpiece, and is highly recommended for readers of all ages.
Jennifer Bruer Kitchel is the librarian for a Pre-K through 8th level Catholic school.