The best Snow White books

7 authors have picked their favorite books about Snow White and why they recommend each book.

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Neil Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples

By Neil Gaiman, Colleen Doran (illustrator),

Book cover of Neil Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples

Snow, Glass, Apples is my all-time favourite Gaiman story, which is quite staggering given how much of his work I adore, but I'd only seen it in short story form before, in Smoke and Mirrors. Then I was given a copy of just Snow Glass, Apples, illustrated by Colleen Doran. The artwork is stunning, beautifully dark with a tight palette and rich, intricate detailing. Every page is a work of art, allowing you to linger and slowly digest the tale as it unfolds. This story is a huge influence for me, in particular for my collection Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale, because it flips the story of Snow White on its head. All of the elements of the traditional tale - the huntsman, the stepmother queen, the dwarves, the glass coffin - are there, but put together from the perspective of the queen, totally changing the story. I love…


Who am I?

GK Chesterton reportedly said that "fairytales are more than true: not because they teach us that dragons are real, but because they teach us dragons can be beaten." This rings true to me; I've been fascinated by the darker side of fairytales since childhood, when I used them to escape and make sense of my own dark experiences. Stories that began as oral traditions are my favourite, a blend of entertainment for long nights around a fire, and cautionary tales that teach us to fear the wolf, and beware of that which seems too good to be true. Old stories teach us what it means to be human. I hope you enjoy these.


I wrote...

Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale

By Victoria Pearson,

Book cover of Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale

What is my book about?

What if Red Riding Hood's grandmother didn't want to be saved? What if Cinderella's prince was actually a bit of a creep? What exactly was Prince Charming doing kissing a girl he found in a coffin anyway? Find out why you should always be careful what you wish for, why you shouldn't trust Hansel and Gretel just because they look sweet, and why you really don't want to displease Mr. Elffe.

Grab some iron to protect you from the Shining Ones, some salt to throw in the face of the fairies, and see what happened once upon a twisted fairytale...

War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories

By Tim Wynne-Jones,

Book cover of War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories

I’m cheating a little here, because War at the Snow White Motel is a collection of short stories, and only the first one is set in a motel. But all these stories will draw you into the complicated emotional lives of kids who struggle to make sense of a world populated by adults who don’t always make sense, and each one will surprise you with that lovely twist that makes a short story so satisfying. At the end of the book is an afterword with notes from the author about each story—a delicious dessert after a scrumptious meal.


Who am I?

When I was a kid, staying in a motel, even a run-down one, was a real treat. Flicking on all the switches to see what they controlled, exploring the bathroom for fun soaps and little shampoo bottles, sharing a room with my sister, swimming in the motel pool, and getting to eat sugar cereals at breakfast—all this was a wonderland to me as a kid. It was part of what made writing No Vacancy so much fun. There’s so much you can do with a motel or hotel setting, and I love to see what other authors come up with. I hope you do too!


I wrote...

No Vacancy

By Tziporah Cohen,

Book cover of No Vacancy

What is my book about?

Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build. A Sydney Taylor Honor winner and National Jewish Book Award finalist.

Six-Gun Snow White

By Catherynne M. Valente, Charlie Bowater (illustrator),

Book cover of Six-Gun Snow White

I read this when my son was born, looking for a familiar story in more ways than one. This imported classic European fairy tale has our gunslinging Snow White escaping to the wild west and feels like a new comfort fable… if replacing dark twisted forests for a wind-whipped big sky can be comforting. It’s a story that doesn’t know how to end, or even if it should endmaking it another facet to join numerous retellings. The Huntsman becomes a Pinkerton, the dwarves now a band of women on the run, and the Prince a melancholy expression of America’s history where many have no voice. It’s a bit cerebral and reveals heart-wrenching lessons when reflected on current times. Which, I suppose, is the purpose of a fable, right?


Who am I?

My life quest has been to find true magic. Once believing it could only be uncovered in ruins or cathedrals continents away, I ended up discovering it in my own backyard under the Big Sky. When I was young, I read everything science fiction and fantasy to feel like that magic was real and bask in worlds far different from my own. Now, as a professional editor and author based in the West… I still read everything science fiction and fantasy, but now I get paid to do it.


I wrote...

I Have Asked to Be Where No Storms Come

By Gwendolyn N. Nix,

Book cover of I Have Asked to Be Where No Storms Come

What is my book about?

The facts of Domino's afterlife are simple: he's a half-breed witch from a people without a name, living out a cursed Butch Cassidy existence… and no one wants to be stuck in Hell with witch blood. When he discovers demonic bounty hunters are on his tail, he is shocked to learn they were hired by his brother. Wicasah, wielding insurmountable power, has struck an ill-made bargain with an ancient being of lighting and thunder to resurrect Domino from his terrible fate. Yet, the two discover an even darker power resides within a fractured United States, one that will stop at nothing to be released. Desperate to escape their own destinies, the two must decide if they will save the world… or let it burn.

Stitching Snow

By R.C. Lewis,

Book cover of Stitching Snow

A Snow White who lives on a cold mining planet and often enters the fighting ring to earn cash? What’s not to love? Princess Essie fled her homeworld after the death of her mother, but the new queen isn’t the darkest threat she faced in the palace. She learned to survive by fighting, coding drones on a mining planet, and not trusting anyone. When Dane crash lands on her planet in the search of a lost treasure, she’s pulled into the war she tried so desperately to avoid. There is great world-building, exciting chases, and near escapes.

R.C. Lewis also tackles an ugly truth about child abuse in a way that keeps it real without splaying the guts all over the page. We can’t fix our world if we continue to pretend such things never happen.


Who am I?

I’ve always loved fairytales. What little girl with a growing romantic heart doesn’t? By the time I was eight, I told people I was Cinderella because of all the work I did at home. An exaggeration, even for the oldest child, but still. My first prom dress, during a year I won’t mention, was reminiscent of Cinderella’s blue ballgown. As I became a writer myself, I noticed my stories held themes I learned from fairytales. Love, loyalty, courage, and a dose of magic. I simply add space or aliens to the mix.


I wrote...

Fade Into Me

By Charity Bradford,

Book cover of Fade Into Me

What is my book about?

A modern-day fairytale with a science fiction twist. Aliens live among us. Their purpose: to protect and nurture their greatest mistake—mankind.


Abhithian. Caedan doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry one or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him from marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. Then his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.

Human. Ryanne might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past and a dark secret.

Puss in Boots

By Vera Southgate,

Book cover of Puss in Boots

The original and best. Puss in Boots is an Italian fairytale, first recorded in 1550, told and retold by many people including the Brothers Grimm and the Disney corporation. This crafty cat charms and connives his way to the very top – to royalty, no less!

The miller’s son was disappointed to receive a cat as a gift from his father. But the cat – who asks only for a pair of boots – tricks the miller’s son into getting naked and robs his clothes… just as the King and his daughter are passing. The King’s daughter falls in love with the miller’s son and, convinced by Puss’s trickery that the miller’s son is a rich marquis, marries him.

Rather than rags to riches, this is a boots to riches tale.


Who am I?

As the author of The Cat Who Ate Christmas, I love a book about a cat who is cunning, quirky, perhaps calamity-prone, but also a cutie. There are plenty of books about loving pets, but their characters all seem to be too earnest, too driven to do the right thing. Not with cats! They will lie, cheat and do what it takes to get what they want… as long as it doesn’t get in the way of nap time. Cats are anti-heroes by nature, aren’t they? That’s why they make the best animals to read about – and an absolute dream to write about. 


I wrote...

The Cat Who Ate Christmas

By Lil Chase, Thomas Docherty (illustrator),

Book cover of The Cat Who Ate Christmas

What is my book about?

It's Christmas, and Jingles the kitten has knocked over the Christmas tree and unwrapped all of the presents! What a naughty kitty. When Jingles eats the entire Christmas turkey, it's the final straw! Jingles is in big trouble now. While his family is busy cleaning up the mess, a guilty Jingles disappears. Realizing what matters most, the family sets out to look for their naughty kitten -- it won't be Christmas without him.

To continue in the holiday spirit, this book includes fun Christmas facts, Christmas jokes, the best recipe for cocoa, and even instructions for making your very own Christmas tree topper. The Cat Who Ate Christmas is the perfect gift this holiday season.

Boy, Snow, Bird

By Helen Oyeyemi,

Book cover of Boy, Snow, Bird

This book is almost too beautiful for words, and reading it you feel like you are falling into a haunted magic mirror where identity and race are explored alongside a host of deep simmering emotions: anger and forgiveness, fear and vanity. A sort of dizzying intergenerational retake on Snow White.


Who am I?

I’m an American author and writing teacher both at Harvard and Oxford’s online programs. I've mostly written poetry and nonfiction, then in 2021 I published my first novel, She Never Told Me about the Ocean. I started writing the book when my daughter was born as a way to explore the complicated feelings and fears that suddenly washed over me. The book—like a daughter—outgrew my plans and expectations for it. It became, unexpectedly, a mythology of mothers and daughters. For two decades I've studied fairy tales and myths. Fairy tales deal in fears and the stories we tell ourselves to feel safe—which is why I read them and use them in my writing.


I wrote...

She Never Told Me about the Ocean

By Elisabeth Sharp McKetta,

Book cover of She Never Told Me about the Ocean

What is my book about?

Magic. Mothers. Daughters. Birth, love, and death. Enchanted islands. Underworlds. Plant medicine. Generations learning to understand each other through the stories we tell and hear. In the words of one of my favorite authors, Arthur Golden, “She Never Told Me about the Ocean is a heroine's journey through forgiveness, birth and rebirth, all the while treading the line between honoring the dead and feeling paralyzed by them. She has offered us a complicated portrait of mothers and daughters, cupped inside one another like nesting dolls.” 

Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

By Jakob Grimm,

Book cover of Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

I love fairytales, whether the dark originals with their painfully executed morals or the softer ‘children’s’ versions that have become household staples, these fairytales are part of my German heritage and have been a staple in my life from the start. What I absolutely adore about the complete collection is being able to see how different peoples have latched onto different fairytales. There are the household favourites in almost all cultures, like Snow White, but there are also those practically unknown in English that are commonly shared in German, like Brother and Sister. While there are even others that are rarely seen in either culture, like The Nixie of the Mill-Pond. As I’ve grown older, I’ve also come to see the powerful messages of transformation embedded into these fairytales, and that is something I love to revisit and re-analyze over and over again, finding the beauty of hidden messages that…


Who am I?

I am an award-winning and USA Today bestselling South African author, social anthropologist, and transformational life coach. Human transformation and the question of human social nature are key themes in all of my writing, which explores the experiences of people on the margins or with a background of overlapping cultures. I am a book dragon who loves reading adventures in almost every genre and that broad scope of my reading explorations has wormed its way into my writing style which, though broadly defined as fantasy, encompasses elements from other styles in a rich and ‘aromatic’ blend.


I wrote...

Aspiring: Part I of the Siblings' Tale

By Astrid V.J.,

Book cover of Aspiring: Part I of the Siblings' Tale

What is my book about?

Pride and Prejudice meets Ella Enchanted in this two-times 2019 Literary Classics award-winning fairytale fantasy.

At her mother’s deathbed, Elisabeth learns her mother’s illness is no accident and that her own life is in danger. Evil witches are plotting to take over the kingdom of Vendale. All alone, naive, and untrained, Elisabeth’s determination is all she has to confront her mother’s murderers as she discovers love at the same time. While Richard’s behaviour sends distracting mixed messages, Elisabeth finds herself stuck in limbo: she is treated like a child but is forced to make adult decisions. Meanwhile, the witches’ plot spins a fateful web around her. This is the first part of a two-part story.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

By Melissa Bashardoust,

Book cover of Girls Made of Snow and Glass

This feminist adaption of Snow White, peppered with elements from The Snow Queen, The Bloody Chamber, and even a touch of Frankenstein, is a gripping delight of a novel. I really enjoyed the mother-daughter relationship that develops throughout the narrative—it felt natural and authentic—and then to watch it unravel in new and familiar ways as the plot thickens. Our heroines have been shaped or altered in a Frankenstein-esque manner that becomes the crux of their quest for self-discovery and liberation, which is just one of the innovative touches that has breathed new life into the vintage tale. With alternating points of view, the reader is able to better understand the innermost emotions, struggles, and motivations of the perceived “evil” stepmother, and the truth is heartbreaking as well as empowering.  


Who am I?

I developed an interest in classical literature while at university, folklore in particular. It’s fascinating how fairy tales originated in oral form before being written and rewritten all over the world for generations, and as such, many of them don’t have a single founding author. But each adaption generally maintains the basic plot points of the original tale, and it’s interesting to see how time, culture, and perspective affect a retelling. There’s always room for interpretation, especially when the traditional narratives often involve exhausted themes and stereotypes, and so with my latest novel, I didn’t hold back when it came to the creative possibilities of more than one fairy tale. 


I wrote...

The Girl with Many Names

By S. Knight,

Book cover of The Girl with Many Names

What is my book about?

The Girl with Many Names is a dark retelling that combines myth and fairy tale into a single chronological narrative, exposing the many faces of the once nameless villain. Born with magic in a realm intolerant of sorcery, this antihero endures ridicule and misfortune at every turn, thus muddying the line dividing justice and vengeance. As the truth of her past begins to reveal itself, she struggles to disprove the villainous reputation thrust upon her, an endeavor that threatens the restraint on her growing powers. But an obscure prophecy seems to dictate her fate, triggering a chain of events that will culminate in the ultimate confrontation with a fated adversary. 

Fables

By Bill Willingham,

Book cover of Fables

Because it’s beautiful and brilliant. Unlike most stories that deal with myths in a meta way, Fables isn’t about the grooves a well-trod narrative can burn into fictional realities, but rather what happens when you take the protagonists of those stories out of their fantastic settings and pull them into our mundane one.

This is a story about legends in exile, about a hidden neighborhood in New York populated by the refugees of dozens of fictional worlds, driven out decades ago by a mysterious Adversary and forced to come to terms with life beyond their stories. Snow White rubs shoulders with the Big Bad Wolf, Pinocchio pals around with Little Boy Blue, and so on.

This series is for anyone that loves thinking about stories, about how the nature of a narrative ticks and how different tales from different places can have common threads that come together in fascinating ways…


Who am I & why this topic?

I'm a writer and game designer who loves stories. The best of them are, quite magically, both new and entertaining, yet built from familiar bones, and we are primed by society and evolution to consume them relentlessly. My passion for myths is born from this key piece of our nature, because I adore how they influence the stories we enjoy and tell about ourselves in equal measure. I've been creating entertainment both written and interactive for over thirteen years now, and how well I accomplish my narrative goals is determined in large part by the nature of the stories involved (whether told to a reader or experienced by a player), which means I’m constantly on the hunt for new stories, myths, tales, and fables.


I wrote...

Freya

By Matthew Laurence,

Book cover of Freya

What is my book about?

Freya is a goddess from centuries-old mythology. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback. There's far more to Sara Vanadi than meets the eye. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death - though that past hardly seems to matter now. For an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers―and the strength they bring―are painfully hard to find. But when a new, rising power threatens to remake the world by bending the divine to its will, Sara realizes her days of hiding have ended, and a chance to claw her way out of the history books has arrived. She'll just need new clothes and a manicure before she gets started.

Blending elements of fantasy and scifi in a modern-world setting, this first novel in a new young adult series is perfect for fans of spellbinding YA novels inspired by history and myth.

They Drew as They Pleased, Volume 1

By Didier Ghez,

Book cover of They Drew as They Pleased, Volume 1: The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age, the 1930s

During the golden age of the Disney studio, the “concept artists” were those who created sketches and paintings to suggest mood, theme, and atmosphere for the inspiration of the production artists. Their works were used internally, during production, and sometimes were outstanding works of art in themselves, but were never seen by the public. Now Didier Ghez singles out four of those top concept artists, documents their careers, and provides a generous gallery of their drawings and paintings, almost all of them previously unpublished. If you enjoy this book—and you surely will—there’s more good news: this volume is the first of six, all retaining the same format and the same high standard of excellence, and following the trail of Disney history well into the 21st century.


Who am I?

Like so many others, I discovered Disney in childhood. When I was five years old my parents took me to see a Disney movie in a theater, and the experience was so overwhelming that I still recall it vividly. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for classic films, a passion that has led me to a career as a film historian. For me, writing a book about a film is mainly an excuse to do the research, to get inside a film and explore it, and find out what makes it tick. It’s invariably a fascinating journey, and if I can share that fascination with readers, I’m happy.


I wrote...

Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic

By J.B. Kaufman,

Book cover of Pinocchio: The Making of the Disney Epic

What is my book about?

Pinocchio, Walt Disney’s second feature-length film, was nothing less than epic in its vision and the magnitude of its technical achievement, and is acknowledged today as one of the pinnacles of the animated film. This volume recounts the full fascinating history of the making of the film—based on years of archival research and interviews with the surviving filmmakers—and is sumptuously illustrated with images that celebrate the lush visual magic of Pinocchio.

For good measure there is a special chapter by renowned scholar Russell Merritt, and a foreword by the distinguished animation historian John Canemaker, as well as appendices detailing complete Pinocchio production credits, and later screen appearances of Figaro the kitten and Jiminy Cricket.

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