Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling

*AD – please note we were gifted this book for the purpose of this review

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling

Written by Stephan Kalinski and Iain Botterill
Illustrated by Claudia Piras
Children’s Fiction
57 pages
Age range: 4+ years

Ever since I was a child I have loved fairy tales. I would read them over and over again and dream of being a brave princess. How I would defeat the evil queen, wear the dress and marry the prince. I loved them and couldn’t get enough of them.

As time moves on, and as a Mum now, I have become more and more aware that fairy tales need a little help on the equality side. They don’t quite sit with my ideology in life; that girls can do as good and are equal to boys.

So it was wonderful to get my hands on a copy of Snow White: A Modern Retelling. A beautiful book that sets about retelling a wonderful classic, but at the same time addressing the things that is wrong with it.

Simple things in the story are changed. Snow White is not the fairest of them all, but the bravest. Now only was was she brave, but she is very clever too. She escapes by her own ingenuity, she isn’t rescued. Of course there is a prince at the end, but they don’t get married, they become friends. These in the greater scheme of things are all subtle changes but it completely transforms the tone of the story and makes it so much more appropriate. It’s refreshing and more than overdue.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling - a review

I can’t decide if I love that the dwarves names were changed, or I kind of miss them. But I loved their backgrounds and how they had travelled from different parts of the world. And, to be fair, how really wants to be known as Grumpy?

The illustrations are so gorgeous. The inclusion of characters from black and ethnic minorities is awesome and we need so much more of this in children’s books. Did you know only 4% of children’s books according to a CLPE study include main characters from a BAME background? This really needs to change. One of my missions this year is to increase the diversity on my children’s book shelves and this book is perfect.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling - illustrations

I may love the fairy tales, but I do know they need updating and this retelling was so absolutely refreshing I would like to see this happen to all of my favourites – Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. Please give me more!


Finally, fairytales have had a feminist facelift. A gentle and sympathetic retelling of a classic that makes it so much better. Girls don’t need to be rescued and they certainly don’t need their beauty the only thing they’re revered for. Give me more brave, strong and courageous heroes for my children, as well as more stunning diverse illustrations and characters. Wonderful.

Rating: 5/5

Buy the book on Amazon (affiliate link)


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling - book cover

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of this beautiful book, then I have one to giveaway to one lucky reader. Simply enter your details below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and conditions: Entries are open to UK residents only. The competition closes on the the 28th August 2020. Winners will be announced on social media and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond to the email in two weeks, a new winner will be randomly chosen. Due to current pandemic, please allow extra time for delivery.

48 thoughts on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Modern Retelling”

  1. I’m in two minds about changing the original fairy tale, I love it when it changes so much it’s a different story based on the original, but maybe a new title is in order too? The older tales are really dated and not relevant anymore, but they are still part of history and my Dad used to read them to me as a child so I guess I feel a little more sensitive about it.

    • The three little pigs ( put wrong inst handle in rafflecopter – should be jollym2020 not maggz1967)

  2. This book sounds fabulous, wish there were more diverse books when we were growing up. I would say Cinderella, we don’t need to reply on a prince to make our lives better!

  3. Probably all those in which a distressed damsel is rescued by a handsome prince such as Sleeping Beauty. It’s time the princesses did some rescuing.

  4. Love, love, love the illustrations in this book and the renewed imagination. I could see me reading this to my grandchildren. Another one for modernisation would definitely be little red riding hood, way overdue for a refresh.


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