March 18, 2010

Multicultural fairy tales

White Flower: A Maya Princess
by Victor Montejo

A poor prince goes to work for Witz Ak'al, Lord of the Mountains and Valleys. The tasks he is given are impossible to accomplish, but he receives help from Princess White Flower, who has magical powers of her own. The story is a Mayan version of Snow White, though considerably different from the usual. It's refreshing to encounter a princess who is intelligent and assertive.

written & illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

The familiar tale takes place in winter, with an African-American Riding Hood. A nice change by an award-winning artist.

by Fiona French

An art-deco influenced Snow White. The magic mirror is a newspaper (The New York Mirror), the dwarves are a seven-member jazz band, the prince is a reporter, and the poisoned apple is a cherry in a cocktail. The plot is thin, but the pictures will appeal to kids interested in fashion.  

by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by Brian Pinkney

This version reflects West Indian culture and costume, told from the Godmother's point-of-view. A glossary of French Creole words and phrases is included.

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