I used to work for Borders Books. By a series of circumstances that are too much to get into her I went from the music department (where I wanted to be) to the children’s book department (the no man’s land of every book store). Needless to say, I didn’t want to go…
But then: Children’s books turned out to be my haven during my tenure at Borders. I relocated several times, I transferred stores each of those times, and each store put forth my desire to be in kids. Since almost nobody wanted to be back there, I was usually granted my wish.
That’s where I started to fall in love with children’s books again. Prior to that time at Borders, that thing had happened to me that happens to most adults (more so when children of your own never enters the picture): I’d lost all interest in the magic of children’s literature. By thirteen I had stopped reading even YA books in favor of seriously adult fare like Dune, Interview with the Vampire, and Anna Karenina. So, being in the kid’s books department reopened some literary vistas for me.
Trina Schart-Hyman is one of a handful of illustrators whose work never fails to inspire me whenever I see it. The dark, rich colors, the accessibility of the subjects, enough adult attitude to keep the visuals from being to saccharine… and always coupled with timeless stories that will appeal across generations.
Snow White by The Brothers Grimm
Translated by Paul Heins
Illustrated by Trina Schart-Hyman