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The Snow Princess
retold and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Published 2015 • 8 ½” x 11” • 32 pages • full-color • ages 3-8
Available Options:

New in paperback - Fall 2017

When the Snow Princess sets off to see the world, Father Frost and Mother Spring warn her never to fall in love, lest she lose her immortality. She journeys alone through many lands, keeping her heart cold, but finds herself drawn to a kind and handsome young shepherd named Sergei. The Snow Princess begins to fall in love with him, but her parents’ warning haunts her dreams, and she must finally decide her own fate in the chaos of a powerful snowstorm that threatens Sergei’s life.

Inspired by a Russian ballet and illustrated with Ruth Sanderson’s lush oil paintings, this original fairy tale will charm readers of all ages.

Ruth Sanderson is the highly acclaimed illustrator of over 75 books for children. Her fairy tale retellings include The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Rose Red and Snow White, Cinderella, and The Crystal Mountain. Her original fairy tale, The Enchanted Wood, won both the Young Hoosier Award and the Bank Street College Award. The Texas Bluebonnet Award was given to her retelling of The Golden Mare, The Firebird, and The Magic Ring. She lives with her husband in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Media Reviews
“It is easy to underestimate the power of Sanderson’s exquisite oil paintings, with their glowing textures and near-perfect detail. Most of the full-page, full-bleed illustrations are done in every shade and tonality of blue, from the ice to midnight, and she uses the washed gold of winter sunlight to pick out other effects. The page spread of the Snow Princess in her snowflake-studded, ermine-trimmed cloak, her dark hair afloat, with her hand resting on a striding polar bear, will make little girls in particular swoon.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Sanderson's version of a Russian folktale is based on the Tchaikovsky opera-ballet The Snow Princess, which recasts the traditional story as a romance in which the daughter of Father Frost enters the human world and finds her icy heart warmed, to her parents’ dismay, by a handsome youth. Sanderson’s resplendent oils have a suitably chilly polish, and children will be transfixed by the characters’ elaborate Byzantine costumes. Sanderson stays true to her source in every detail but one: in the opera the girl is as doomed as her folktale counterpart, but Sanderson allows her to forgo her immortality to stay with the man she loves.”

“Want a cozy read-aloud for chilly nights? 'The Snow Princess' is an exquisite choice… Author/Illustrator Ruth Sanderson uses words and images to masterful effect. Initially, pictures are rendered in cool tones: blue, gray, black. As the story continues, the oil paintings begin to glow with greater color and warmth, in keeping with the Snow Princess’s blossoming love.”
—Washington Parent

“This fairy tale was inspired by a Russian ballet of the same name. The book jacket is nothing short of amazing. Here, small perfect snowflakes look and feel like tiny diamonds. It’s like Disney, but with good taste.”
— Philadelphia City Paper

“Painted with oils, the artwork is simply stunning—among the most beautiful picture books I have seen.”
— Mary Helen Sheriff , Children’s Literature

“Inspired by a Russian opera, this tender story is, as with all this author’s books, marvelously illustrated.”
—Baltimore’s Child

“Breathtaking illustrations transport readers into this beautifully written fairytale.”
—Georgia Family Magazine

“A fairy tale of sorts, this book goes far beyond that with an ending that reminds its young readers love is always preferable to isolation, however safe that isolation might seem. The illustrations are alternate visions of radiance and darkness, with the dark strikingly beautiful and ominous at the same time—while the light scenes are filled with color and a persistent glow that can only be the harbinger of a new season.”
—Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas)

“In this original fairy tale, the Snow Princess must choose between immortality and love with a man. As always, Sanderson’s deeply textured oils provide a feast for the eyes, this time in a world of swirling snow and icy blue.”
—Sunday Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, MO)

“The Snow Princess grows curious about the world and leaves her home in the icy north to explore. Her parents, Father Frost and Mother Spring, warn her not to fall in love with a man because doing so will end in her death. After watching Sergei from a distance the Snow Princess finally meets him and subsequently falls in love. She tries to runaway and forget him, but finds the task impossible and returns to discover her feelings have grown even stronger. Worried about her parents' warning, she calls a snowstorm and is temporarily able to lose herself in its fury. However, when the snowstorm finally subsides she learns that Sergei is missing. She rushes to find him and when she does so, she admits her love and becomes mortal. The tale is inspired by a Russian ballet and follows a traditional fairy-tale story arc. Painted with oils, the artwork is simply stunning—among the most beautiful picture books I have seen. Ages 4 to 8.” 

—Mary Helen Sheriff, Children’s Literature

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Of Related Interest:
Rose Red and Snow White
Fairy Tale Feasts
The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring
Papa Gatto
Fairy Tale Baking
Twelve Dancing Princesses, The