Using watercolor in the Art Deco and film noir style, Matt Phelan introduces us to a fresh take on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves story. After SUsing watercolor in the Art Deco and film noir style, Matt Phelan introduces us to a fresh take on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves story. After Samantha White’s (aka Snow) mother dies of tuberculosis in the 1920s in NYC, Snow and her father are heartbroken. Ten years, her father, “The King of Wall Street” is lonely and discovers that the “Queen of the Ziegfeld Follies” is performing on Broadway. He is captivated with her elegant style and bobbed hair and promptly marries her. The Queen is not pleased that Snow is around and promptly sends her to boarding school in the country. She soon gets rid of her husband, but he still gets the last laugh, which she discovers during the reading of the will. Her husband has gone behind her back and left Snow three-quarters of the estate. The Queen is furious and vows revenge by getting rid of Snow, but the Huntsman spares her. She is rescued by the Seven, a group of street children that adopt her and try to protect her, though she still falls to the Queen’s poisoned apple. The Seven put her in a glass cage. Will she be rescued by her Prince Charming and live happily ever after? To find out, read this charming version of Snow White. Recommended for ages 10+, 4 stars.
I was honestly not a fan of the artwork until I learned more about it from the author, via this interview. I liked that he not only loved the Disney Snow White version (one of my personal favorites), but also enjoyed film noir movies such as Citizen Kane and the Thin Man movies (which I also enjoy) and these influenced how he created the graphic novel. I really loved the story line and the twist on the classic tale. The Ziegfeld Follies were always cool to see on movies from the 1920s and 1930s, and they must have been spectacular in real life, so yeah I can see how the King would be dazzled after seeing the Queen of the Follies dancing so glamorous and looking like a real stunner on stage. I liked that the Seven were a group of abandoned street kids because in a way, they are kind of like Snow, forced to fend for themselves even though they’ve definitely gotten a more rotten deal. I also liked that they made the Prince a working detective instead of a superficial pretty boy. ...more
I have put off reading this book for awhile, even though it's been vastly popular for years (in fact we can never keep any copies of this on the shelfI have put off reading this book for awhile, even though it's been vastly popular for years (in fact we can never keep any copies of this on the shelf at our library). I finally found a copy of this first book and took it home. I honestly wasn't impressed. Greg Heffley is your typical skinny 6th grade boy I suppose, with a slightly less intelligent best friend named Rowley, so he is relateable for most kids. But for me that's where the similarities end. He's lazy, is only out for himself, mean and as another reviewer put it, "What an a-hole!" There's a scene at the end of the book that especially pissed me off. Greg and Rowley are on the Safety Patrol (essentially being student crossing guards, which is a pretty cushy job as you can skip class and get free hot chocolate) when a local neighborhood lady sees Greg in Rowley's jacket harassing a group of kindergarteners. She informs the principal and Rowley gets in trouble. Instead of doing the right thing and admitting his mistake, Greg lets him take his punishment and only later admits to Rowley the truth. He rats on Greg, and Greg gets his just rewards and is kicked off the Safety Patrol, while Rowley is re-instated and promoted to officer. So now we're encouraging kids to have bad manners and be jerks?! I know that it's all in good humor and that this book has brought loads of reluctant readers into reading, and for that I am grateful. But there are better and funnier diary-type books out there for kids (like "Alvin Ho"). This just makes me want to find better quality books like this for kids. Recommended for ages 8-12, 2 stars. ...more
I picked this one up mostly because I wanted to read "Drama" as it was a banned book, but figured I should read this one first as I figured it was herI picked this one up mostly because I wanted to read "Drama" as it was a banned book, but figured I should read this one first as I figured it was her first book. "Smile" is the story of the author/illustrator in middle school. At the very beginning, she accidentally loses her two front teeth and has to have them re-attached but they come in shorter, so she has to get braces and head gear to correct the problem. She has a harder time than usual dealing with everything and the book follows her through middle school and into high school, where she ends up with a different group of friends than she started with, has a long-standing unrequited crush, survives an earthquake and falls in love (unexpectantly) with the Disney movie "The Little Mermaid". Recommended for ages 10-14, 5 stars.
As someone who had both braces and headgear in middle school and with the book set during my childhood, I completely adored this book and could totally identify it. She's a little bit older than me, but growing up in the 1990s is about the same whether it was at the beginning or end of the decade. I can't wait to read "Drama" next!...more