Here’s the story of Snow White, but not as we know it. Snow White herself is Snowy White, a gorgeous, fluffy cat (with a social conscience), the seven dwarves are seven mice, and the jealous queen is a ‘purringly perfect puss’ called Kingsley. As for the mirror – suffice to say, there’s a clever twist there too and it would spoil readers’ enjoyment to give it away here.
The rest of the plot unfolds in ways we expect, and ways we don’t. Kingsley’s efforts to shoo away his rival come to nothing, and Snowy White immediately wins the hearts of the little mice as she helps them clean up the mess left by the other cats. In this version though, everyone lives tidily, happily and considerately ever after, having learned that beauty begins on the inside. It’s exactly the message we need right now. Loretta Schauer’s illustrations are full of the details that youngster will love – it’s particularly enjoyable to watch Snowy get very, very grubby – while cats and mice alike are full of character. Gareth P. Jones’ text is made to read aloud, slipping smoothly into rhyme when the story calls for it, and he elegantly, and apparently effortlessly finds a new approach to what is probably the best-known fairy story of all.