April 24, 2009

Dick Bruna And The Seven Dwarfs

bruna_snow_white1.jpg

It still blows my mind sometimes what libraries will get rid of. In 1966, when Miffy was barely 11 years and six books old, Dick Bruna published a series of fairy tales: Tom Thumb, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White.

I bought Dick Bruna's Snow-White and the seven dwarfs because it's cute, but also because it fits with our chosen approach to the Disney juggernaut. Rather than complain about Disneyfication and stress out over a surely futile ban, we just flood the zone with variations on the classics, so that the Disney versions are seen for what they are: one telling of the story among many.

bruna_snow_white2.jpg

And then I'll let the kid get into at least seventh grade before pointing out that Bruna's wicked queen in the mirror is actually Disney's 1937 version, Miffy-fied.

Buy vintage copies of Dick Bruna's Snow-White and the seven dwarfs on amazon [amazon]

2 Comments

If you take a similar approach to world religions (with or without the Disney influence), Bruna's "Christmas" book is a great one to add to the mix. I had it as a kid, and despite some early confusion about astronomy, frankincense, and so forth, think it's a pleasantly cutified rendition of the xmas story.

Keep hold of your vintage copies of Bruna's early titles - they could be worth something some day. I have a first edition of the Christmas Book; it still sells out every year in the UK. For your info. Dick Bruna is 81 now, & still cycles to his studio in Utrecht every day where he works. He's just published his 120th picture book. He'll be pleased to know his books have put a small spanner in the Disney global machine...I'll let him know next time I see him. (I do the PR for Miffy, so often take journalists out to Utrecht to interview him. CBS News will be broadcasting a feature on his life next month).

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