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
A beautiful book on a sad and scary topic, my son and I really enjoyed this book. It is a semi-biographical fantasy about the author being left aloneA beautiful book on a sad and scary topic, my son and I really enjoyed this book. It is a semi-biographical fantasy about the author being left alone by herself as a small child in China, while her parents went to work, and chronicles an event where she got lost on the way to her grandmother's house (which in the book expands into an adventure with a stag). Recommended for ages 5+, 4 stars. ...more
This one is my son's current favorite book. Bunnicula, Harold, Chester and Howie (the Monroe's new puppy) are getting ready for Halloween. Howie is scThis one is my son's current favorite book. Bunnicula, Harold, Chester and Howie (the Monroe's new puppy) are getting ready for Halloween. Howie is scared of everything and Chester is suspicious of Bunnicula and thinks he is the cause of all kinds of trouble. A witch comes in and causes some mischief. Who is she and what does she want? To find out, read the exciting third book in the series. Recommended for ages 5-8 year olds, 4 stars. ...more
I have loved the two Brian Selznick's books I've read thus far , and I've been wanting to read this one for awhile but as it is rather hefty, I hadn'tI have loved the two Brian Selznick's books I've read thus far , and I've been wanting to read this one for awhile but as it is rather hefty, I hadn't. It is 665 pages after all. But it really doesn't take that long to read as the first third of the book is hand-drawn illustrations, then the main storyline, then the last fifty pages or so are more illustrations. And the story is so good, you are sucked in from the beginning and you really want to know the story and solve the mystery. The book, which starts in 1766 and ends in 2007, is about the Marvel and Nightingale families and their connection to each other. But it is also a story about love in all its forms, acceptance, understanding, and the complicated relationships within families (one of which, in this case, is people thinking you are crazy because your obsession with designing your house to be a perfect 19th century replica). The book is based in part off a real person called Dennis Severs who actually had a house at the location from the book, 18 Folgate St in Spitalfields, London (http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/).
I got sucked into this book from the beginning and didn't want to leave the richly descriptive world. But all books have to end, even the good ones. I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this book, which looks like a work of art on the outside with its gold and dark blue cover and gold-edged pages, but I was pleasantly surprised. Two of my favorite quotes in the book are on page 558 where Joseph and his uncle Albert have finally come to accept each other and Albert has agreed to let him stay with him: "Joseph looked at his uncle in the flickering golden glow of the fire, and his heart nearly broke with love." That line just really stayed with me. Later on, on page 599, when Joseph and his mother are talking about their family and Joseph is thinking about Shakespeare's play "A Winter's Tale," which was the one he had sneaked in to see at the Royal Theater, there is another great one, which made me tear up and reflect on my own life right now. "Maybe the play wasn't about miracles. No, maybe it was about the passage of time, and the need for patience, and the ability to forgive. Maybe Shakespeare was saying that even in a world where miracles can happen, there's still going to be pain, and loss, and regret. Because sometimes people die and you can't bring them back. That's what life is, Joseph realized, miracles and sadness, side by side." And this profound thought comes from a children's book. I'm honestly not sure if children will read this book as it is a bit too deep and not non-stop action like most kid's books, but I honestly hope they do because they will miss out on a great piece of literature. Honestly, I think everyone should read this. Recommended for ages 10+, 5 stars. ...more