Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
translated and illustrated by Wanda Gag
When you look back at the 30s and 40s, it is so cool to think that without movies and computers and advertising, all the world's visual entertainment for children ~ for the most part ~ came in the form of books. The wonder and mystery they must have held, opening up worlds of the imagination that had previously been untouched. Holding those titles now in your hand... books that have been around the block, read hundreds of times... you almost wish the books could tell a different story of all the places they've been and readers who've loved them. My goodness, wouldn't that be a thing of wonder?In the midst of my momma drama last summer, I found this one tucked on the shelf of a little junk store two towns over from my mom's place in Virginia. The small size and the layered frays on the corners just kill me. It is the perfect present for a grownup palm or the little hands of a child wanting to see. It has the look and the feel of all the things I love about this hobby, not to mention it was inked by one Ms. Wanda Gag, so you know it's simply darling.
It's also a translation of the original Grimm tale, so it includes all the wicked tidbits that have since been omitted... the prick of blood, the supposed eating of the girl's heart...
Once upon a time, in the middle of winter, the snowflakes were falling like feathers from the sky. At a castle window framed in ebony sat a young Queen working at her embroidery, and as she was stitching away and gazing at the snowflakes now and then, she pricked her finger and three little drops of blood fell down upon the snow. And because the color red looked so beautiful there on the snow she thought to herself, "Oh if I only had a little child as white as snow, as rosy red as blood, and with hair as ebon black as the window frame."
We all know what happens next. She gets her wee one, and then dies shortly thereafter leaving the girl behind. As the story goes, her wicked stepmother queen has a little pow pow with her mirror and finds out she is not as hot as she thinks. The rest is history.
We love Wanda Gag at my house. Hers are some of the oldest picture books around, but she never fails to enrapture my son through her stories and incredible black and white drawings. Take note of the mirror match up between the peacock and the queen. Gorgeous.
Millions of Cats
The Funny Thing
Nothing At All