Reviews for Seven Dwarfs


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 January 2002
Gr. 3-4, younger for reading aloud. With its intensely imagined pictures and its sophisticated text, this retelling of the Snow White tale from the point of view of the dwarfs makes a compelling bridge from picture book to fairy tale. The narrator is Stephane, who, along with his six brothers, is preparing to go to the wedding of Snow White. The king outfits the seven in velvet, but the courtiers titter over their height and country ways; the dwarf Solomon's grumbling make an amusing counterpoint. Stephane recounts how they met Snow White 13 years earlier, and the tale proceeds in familiar ways. The king makes them all Dukes of the Forest, but they choose to return to their cottage, and Snow White promises to visit often. Full-page illustrations, with Delessert's signature combination of rubbery exaggeration, painstaking detail, and startling perspectives work with the tiny, fully realized images within the text. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
This is a gently paternal account of how Snow White came to the house of the seven dwarfs, and how she left. Dwarf Stephane recalls Snow White's story on the occasion of the dwarfs' invitation to her wedding to the prince. The lengthy text has momentum and grace; the pictures, restrained but well detailed, have tenderness and humor. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #1
While many of the folktale revisionings we've seen lately take a mischievous postmodern view of their sources, this is a gently paternal account of how Snow White came to the house of the seven dwarfs, and how she left. Dwarf Stephane, who lives at the edge of the forest with his six brothers, recalls Snow White's story on the occasion of the dwarfs' invitation to her wedding to the Prince. The palace is splendid ("our room was large enough to contain our entire cottage, and the bed was big enough for all my brothers and I to roll around on without even touching each other"), but Stephane hesitates at the King's kind invitation to the brothers to move there and become "masters of the royal forge." Ensuing events of a mildly disastrous sort convince the dwarfs to politely decline: "We will always be out of place in this world." The motif of size is central to Delessert's story. Snow White is the same size as the dwarfs when they take her in but a grown woman when the dropped coffin brings her back to life; the dwarfs learn that in the castle they would be often underfoot. Restrained but well-detailed illustrations also emphasize the contrasting beauty of the elegant court, with the dwarfs dressed in rich indigo, and that of the woods and homely cottage, all brown and green and bronze. The text is lengthy but has momentum and grace; the pictures have tenderness and humor, with a good deal of the fun afforded by Delessert's profiles of seven prominent proboscises. r.s. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 October #2
Delessert (I Hate to Read) reveals what happens to the famous septet after Snow White wakes up; as she prepares to wed the prince the diminutive heroes are invited to be honored guests. The drama of the vengeful queen and her loquacious mirror becomes a long flashback; Stephane, the strongest-minded of the seven brothers, carefully considers the prince's offer that the dwarves take up residence at the palace. Dazzled by court life, the seven siblings nevertheless come to see that royal pageantry is not for them. Back in the forest, they eat leftover wedding cake. Dense type and arch prose ("Well, l'habit fait le moine " says the palace tailor as he adjusts the dwarves' newly fashioned courtly attire) set the volume apart from other lavishly illustrated fairy tales and mark its appeal to an older audience. So do Delessert's paintings. Grotesque and delicate at the same time, they dwell on the dwarves' fantastically outsize noses and gap-toothed grins. A hallucinogenic tableau of wedding festivities shows a dancer poised on a rhinoceros's horn while carrying a tray of tuba-playing elephants. Fanciful, cinematic moments will intrigue older readers (as the other dwarves sleep, Stephane gazes moodily out the palace window at the swans), while this unique twist on the universally known tale will divert younger listeners. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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