We have a couple of Matt Phelan books in our library and I'm sad that they just don't get the circulation I think they deserve. His style is gorgeous! Beautiful, simple, and evocative. The books, however, are housed in the Graphic Novels section and, not to stereotype, but the audience for that section tends to gravitate towards Babymouse or Calvin and Hobbs. I mean, I get it. That would be like me picking Little House on the Prairie off a shelf full of Harry Potter books. Hashtag not gonna happen. (dear young people, I am fully aware that the proper syntax, according to current parlance, is #NotGonnaHappen, but if I want to spell it out like your grandma, then I can. #ThankYouVeryMuch #SoThere)
But, like, for reals. This book is dope. I read the whole thing before I realized that there were, at most, maybe 10-15 words per page. And some pages completely devoid of print. Yet, the story suffered not. Phelan's drawings create a movement through the story and sets tone as if it were a movie. I love the way he translates the familiar tale of Snow White through a 1920's story line. For example, the wicked queen is a Zigfield girl, called "Queen of the Follies." How perfect is that? Phelan artfully blends elements of the age with the old tale to create a beautiful and haunting visual experience.
I recommend this, not only to fans of graphic novels, but especially to those who wouldn't normally consider the genre. Great for Hi-Low readers, but also for those who enjoy a well-told (or rather, well-drawn) story.
Phelan, M. (2016). Snow White. Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.