Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – 1939 Caldecott Award Book

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs – 1939 Caldecott Award Book
Did they really read these books to young children in 1939?  Even for this day and age, when young eyes regulary encounter more violence, I find this book a bit over-the-top with graphic details.  Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs – A Tale from the Brothers Grimm, translated by Randall Jarrell and pictures by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, was not a book I would have just picked out on a whim,and it is not a book I would regularly recommend or even have usually read to my children.  The story is a bit more complex than the usual telling, as the queen must try 3 times to kill Snow-White.  I did find that this book explained some of my ever-nagging questions about this story, such as how Snow-Whitecould have “come back to life” after being in a casket for so long.  With words only on facing pages and pictures only in alternating pages, I found this book a bit visually frustrating as I read the story and there were no pictures to look at then there were pictures, but no words.  The pictures were okay, but not what I would call spectacular.

Caldecott Criteria:
1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The water-color-type illustrations are good quality.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Yes, the darkness of the story is evident through the illustrations.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.” – Yes, you could feel as if you were in a late-medieval time period.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – I would agree with this somewhat, but certain parts of the story were left to the imagination visually.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – I believe that these illustrations could easily be lost on young children.  The symbols for potions and other parts of the story are not easily understood.
Age Range: 4-10

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