Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin – Book Review

Snow & Rose


Blurb from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author-illustrator brings readers into the woods to meet two young sisters and a strange bit of magic in this reimagining of the classic but little-known fairy tale “Snow White and Rose Red.”

Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do….

Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.

Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.

But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.

This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.

Bestselling author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin has created a world that sits on the border of enchantment, with characters who are grounded in real emotions that readers will recognize in themselves.


My thoughts on this book:

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin is an enchanting retelling of “Snow-White and Rose-Red”. As soon as we saw this at the bookstore we quickly snatched it up. I’ve always admired retellings and this is one of my favorites.

Snow and Rose are daughters born to a nobleman. Their mother, from a common family, was a painter and sculptor. Their parents loved each other and loved their daughters more than anything. At one point, Snow and Rose had everything they wanted, including a beautiful home and garden, plenty of fancy dresses to wear, dolls, and a cute cat named Earl Grey. That is, until the day their father disappears into the woods and doesn’t return.


Without their father everything became difficult and their mother struggled to do much of anything. She was sad and had no interest like she used to. As everything is taken away, they eventually move into a cottage in the woods while reminiscing about their old lives from time to time. Despite their fear of the woods that took their father, they venture out into the forest and what follows is a story full of wonder, magic, and adventure.

Snow and Rose didn’t know they were living in a fairy tale–people never do.

I personally loved this retelling which has some similarities to the original, but with a whole new twist. There are trees that talk to one another, a librarian with magical objects, and a mysterious huntsman. I enjoyed all of these added elements which gave depth to the story and kept it fresh.


As far as the writing, I adored all the beautiful descriptions and also the format. I thought it was written in a way that both young readers and adults can enjoy.

Snow and Rose wandered through the big room. It was spare but cozy. Roots curled and looped along the walls; dark planks of roughhewn wood covered the floor. Light beamed thinly through windows in the ceiling, falling onto simple furnishings. Lanterns and candles were gathered in groups on tables and shelves carved into the walls of earth. 

The characters were well understood and the story had some interesting twists I wasn’t expecting! I thought the sketchbook with the additional illustrations was a nice touch too. I would’ve cherished this book in my childhood and it even possesses a vintage feel with the beautiful illustrations and cover. My rating on this one is 5*****


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (October 10, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553538187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553538182

Emily Winfield Martin



Emily Winfield Martin makes paintings, books, and other things. She is the author and illustrator of Day Dreamers (forthcoming, 2014), Dream Animals (2013), Oddfellow’s Orphanage (2012) and The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer (2010). When she was small, she spent every moment drawing, reading, dressing rabbits in fancy clothes, and having many peculiar daydreams. When she grew up, she began to illustrate those peculiar daydreams, and after college, she created a cottage industry called The Black Apple, which sells all manner of art and etceteras.

She works in a tiny nook of a studio filled with old children’s books, wind-up toys, and stacks of fabric. Her work is inspired by fairy tales, music, myths, carnivals, children’s books from the late 19th through mid 20th century, her favorite films, and autobiography.

She likes bears and sea monsters and seashell pink poppies. She lives and works among the giant fir trees of Portland, OR.

Thanks for reading my review of Snow & Rose. Feel free to leave comments below if you’d like. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin – Book Review

  1. starjustin

    Nice review! I love the way this sounds. And the illustrations are beautiful. When I read about the author I was so amazed at her life and where she lives. I’m definitely going to add this one. 💙 🐦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The illustrations are captivating and I truly wished there were more. The little dwarf reminds me of some of the old elf Christmas ornaments from back in the day. So fun. Hope you enjoy this one! 💜


  2. It looks like a lovely book. I love fairy tales, and was always particularly enthralled by the tale of Snow White and Rose Red. I think just their names were so beautifully evocative that I couldn’t help it. Thanks for the suggestion – going to have to look this one up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d like it, Carla. It’s great to read with kids too. I’d say 3rd to 4th grade and up roughly depending on their interests. We enjoyed it. Hope you’re doing well! 💙💖💙

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m glad you’re doing okay. ❤ You'll have to let me know what you think about this one when you read it. I do hope the kids enjoy it too! 🙂 Hugs XOXO


  3. Nel

    This might sound a little ignorant but is Rose Red like Red Riding Hood? I don’t think I’ve read that original. Anyway, thanks for sharing illustration snippets. Looks like a great read for parents and their children or great grandchildren with the interesting twist it has going on. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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