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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


A Year in Disney Movies Week 1: Companion Books (Snow White Retellings)

Snow in Summer - Jane Yolen Fairest - Gail Carson Levine Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen - Serena Valentino Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends - Shannon Hale Mirror Mirror - Gregory Maguire

This year over at Wordpress, I'm blogging about my year-long project to watch 1 Disney animated classic per week, in order. I got started yesterday with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


Although I largely credit Disney for awakening my love of fairy tales, it does make me sad that many people think of the Disney films as the "original" stories, when Disney sometimes takes such drastic liberties that the original story is hardly recognizable. Disney classics are just one of many in a long line of retellings, and I appreciate them as such.


I'm going to post "companion reads" to the weekly movie here whenever applicable. Aside from Disney's version, the other Snow White retellings I've explored are:


Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen, an Appalachian retelling of Snow White. (4/5 stars)


Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, interesting because the Snow White character in it is not beautiful. (4/5 stars)


Fairest of All, a Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino, which is officially part of the Disney line. Although I was somewhat disappointed, I do hope Disney continues the trend of releasing books to add depth to the characters from their movies, especially since we see so little of their backstories or inner workings. (3/5 stars)


Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale, which follows the daughters of Snow White and the Wicked Queen as they possibly forge a friendship (haven't read far enough in the series to know for sure). (3/5 stars)


Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire which, despite being somewhat of a disappointment, still has the best cover of any of the Snow White retellings listed here. And I really love that it uses Lucrezia Borgia as the evil stepmother, which piqued my interest in learning more about the historical Borgias. (3/5 stars)


Snow White is a fairy tale that seems to remain ripe with possibility despite the many "takes" on it already out there. None of the retellings I've read of it yet have totally blown me away, but I feel certain there is one out there -- perhaps even already on my shelf. And someday, I also hope to write my own.


[I would also like to give Disney's Snow White a copy of The Feminine Mystique. She might be ready for it in a few years.]