BWW Review: SNOW AND ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin
"The more days that passed, the more a final, terrible truth settled in the air.
...Rose fell asleep wishing the truth to be something else. But every time she woke up, the truth was still there.
But Snow didn't cry, not even then. She didn't cry because the truth everyone else felt was not her truth.
She wouldn't believe her father was gone. And no matter how much time passed, she insisted he would come back.
Rose couldn't say to Snow, to insist to her, that sometimes you lose someone in a way that means he will never read to you, or say good night, or swing his arms around you again."
~SNOW & ROSE, Emily Winfield Martin
I'm really excited to take part in today's blog tour stop for Random House's new middle-grade release SNOW & ROSE! Now that I'm holding the finished copy in my hands, it's all I dreamed of...and more.
There is a full-color illustration in each chapter of the book, and a sketchbook of tidbits from Emily Winfield Martin at the end as a special treat for readers. When you slip off the jacket, you see a gorgeous texture on the spine that is replicated on the inside endpapers. This book feels luxe and has an air of already being a classic--it will fit in perfectly next to older fairy tale tomes on your shelf. While I had an ARC of this book, I'm really glad I decided to wait to read it with finished artwork because it's such a gorgeous, worthy experience.
SNOW & ROSE is very much on point in following the traditional fairy tale of the same name, about two sisters named Snow White and Rose Red (No, one is NOT the same Snow White who met seven dwarves and had an evil stepmother...). Snow and Rose have just lost their father. One day, he never comes home from hunting, and the family is forced into poverty and must move out of their posh house and into a much smaller one where they must fend after themselves. The eldest sister, Rose, knows her dad won't be returning, but Snow still believes he'll come home to her. The sisters live on the outskirts of an enchanted forest, and wind up being caught up into various adventures that lead to a run-in with the evil Menace of the Woods that will ignite a prophecy and change their destinies.
I really like the way this read like a fairy tale. The author also has a beautiful way with words, from saying that one sister is a "tidy bow" while the other is "a wild tangle" to gorgeous visuals such as "The sun fell in glittering bars as the leaves rustled overhead" and "They stained their hands and piled their pockets full [with blackberries]." The imagery she is able to invoke brings the world to life and makes it feel real in the imagination.
I love how true SNOW & ROSE is to the original tale, while still giving readers new surprises to love as they read. But the true highlight is the gorgeous artwork. There's so much whimsy, and the images fit in so well with the story. I love how we can see Winfield Martin's vision sprung to life from the words on the page, and looked forward to each new image. I also loved the "outtakes" at the end that gave us a sneak peek into her conceptualization as she worked on bringing the final images to life. All in all, this is a gorgeous book that will appeal to readers of all ages, not just the targeted middle-grade readers. It's also not too scary and can be read as a bedtime story to younger children, so the whole family can enjoy this one!
Check out a video highlight some of the gorgeous artwork: