A picturebook a week: The Fairytale Hairdresser and Snow White
Another happy working day begins at Kittie’s Cuts, until the latest edition of The Looking Glass brings the worrying news that Snow White has disappeared and is in danger, with the Wicked Queen is on her trail. With the help of seven musical dwarves and a rather dashing doctor, can Kittie help save Snow White from her fate?
The fourth book in the bestselling Fairytale Hairdresser series (you can read my review of the first book here), this revisionist version of Snow White is another winner. A modern setting, plenty of humour (and some real rhyming gems), diverse characters and positive gender roles mix with intertextual references to create a combination which will delight young fairytale fans while appeasing parents who might be concerned about the old-fashioned values of traditional tales. The artwork is bright and a bit girly (there is glitter involved!) but not overly so and certainly never garish; the illustrations reiterate the modernity of the setting perfectly.
What is particularly pleasing in this title is that though it does stick to the well-known plot, its resolution is realistic, without a “true love’s kiss” in sight: Charming saves Snow White because he is a doctor. This “tweaking” is a real strength of the series. In The Fairytale Hairdresser and Cinderella, the prince sees Cinderella in rags before he sees her all done up – and falls for her then, conveying the positive message that girls should not have to change themselves to be appreciated. In The Fairytale Hairdresser and Sleeping Beauty, Rose’s true love turns out not to be a prince but a modest gardener, conveying the message that love should know no barrier of race or social class. It is so refreshing to see a series which can retain the traditional heritage of fairy tales while making them relevant to children’s lives. And with positive male role models, this is a series that can most definitely be enjoyed by boys too.
Though The Fairytale Haidresser and Snow White can be enjoyed on its own, I thoroughly recommend you seek out the whole series if you have not come across it already. And if you still need convincing, come back tomorrow when you will be able to read a guest post from author Abie Longstaff who will explains the philosophy behind her version of the fairytale world. It is fascinating stuff!
Source: review copies from publisher