Hello, friends! Our book today is Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs, written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Raphaelle Barbanegre, a slightly strange little import that explores the plight of an overwrought caregiver.
You know the old story: a beautiful young girl, a wicked witch, a poisoned apple. Fleeing into the forest, Snow White finds a small home to shelter in, but not the one that houses seven dwarfs – no, this version houses SEVENTY-seven. Grateful for the dwarfs’ offer of shelter, she pitches in around the house: cooking, cleaning, brushing beards, etc. She quickly begins to get overwhelmed, however, especially when each dwarf requires a different bedtime story, they’re all picky eaters, and no one is willing to lend a hand at all! Snow White is rapidly losing her composure and patience, and this time, when she meets the witch in the woods with a poison apple, her answer may be a different one.
The issue with imports (this title was originally published in Italy) is that the humor doesn’t translate always as well as the art. Here, for instance, the end gag has a somewhat dark tone; that’s not to say it’s not funny, as it’s definitely a joke that parents will appreciate, but it may be confusing for little kids, especially to whom “poison” implies “deadly” or “lethal”. Indeed, anyone reading this needs to be familiar with the more classic Snow White story, or this reads as a very brief and somewhat dark book. On the other hand, the colorful, incredibly detailed and hilarious art is wonderful, and translates beautifully; Snow’s increasingly harried expression is especially humorous. The pace is fairly brisk, so it’s a quick read, and JJ enjoyed the colorful artwork. Overall, this is a good one for bookworms for a more mature sense of humor, be they caregivers or kids with a sharper sense of comedy, and in that regard, it’s Baby Bookworm approved.