April 24, 2009

Dick Bruna And The Seven Dwarfs


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.


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]


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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