Snow White’s Forest Friends (Disney Princess)

­Random. (Step into Reading). Jan. 2024. 24p. adapted by Nicole ­Johnson. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780736490429; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780736444187.
PreS-Gr 2–Forest friends in a pickle needn’t fear in Snow White’s kingdom. The story opens with Snow White surveying her peaceful courtyard from the vantage of the balcony, when suddenly she hears an animal’s cry for help. Snow White makes her way to the well and finds a bunny in distress. Presumably, the bunny went in search of the water pooled at the bottom of the well. The princess’s initial attempts at rescue fail; instead, in a strange turn of events, the trapped bunny is joined by a squirrel. Snow White has an idea for the animal rescue and heads into the forest to gather rocks, to encourage the animals—now grown to five in number—to build a staircase out of the well. Some curious situations may provoke questions from young readers. Why did the bunny risk grave injury falling to the bottom of the well for water that could be found elsewhere? Why did four additional forest critters chance this same fate all while knowing that the bunny was stuck? Disney princess fans will readily suspend disbelief and appreciate Snow White’s determination and creative problem-solving skills. The variation in vocabulary aligns with the publisher-assigned reading level, and the illustrations give appropriate visual clues to the more unusual words such as dashes, lowers, and carefully.
VERDICT Even with a few plot hiccups, this reader will fly off the shelves because of the rock-solid value of the Disney Princess franchise. A recommended purchase for all school and public collections.

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