Book Review: Snow White An Islamic Tale

By Kirkus Reviews (paywall)

SNOW WHITE_cov

In this version, the heroine is pious as well as pretty.

Here the setting is Anatolia (in Turkey), which looks similar to a European landscape. Snow White is not a princess, but she still has a jealous stepmother who sends a huntsman to kill her. Seven female dwarfs, all kind and religious, find the girl on their doorstep after the huntsman refuses to do the evil deed. It may sound more or less like the usual story, but the poisoned apple becomes poisoned dates, the fruit that traditionally breaks the Ramadan fast. The poisoned fruit is not dislodged from the girl’s throat when servants stumble, carrying her glass coffin to the prince’s palace (as in Grimm). Nor does the prince kiss Snow White (as in Disney). Here, the prince’s mother and a doctor awaken her with medicine and prayer. The gruesome Grimm ending changes, as it does in many children’s versions, though with a twist: Snow White grants mercy to her evil stepmother and recites a verse from the Quran. Such verses are quoted throughout the text, with references provided. The full-color watercolors, with some Anatolian details in clothing and household goods, are attractive, but the faces are sometimes awkward. Snow White (not quite beautiful) and the stepmother don’t always look the same on different pages.

Created for religious Muslim children, this may be of interest to institutions or families seeking such materials. (glossary) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)