Happy Book Birthday to Not Quite Snow White!
Written by debut author, Ashley Franklin, Not Quite Snow White tells the story about Tameika, a talented young girl who belongs on the stage. She has all of the right stuff to play the part, but not everyone at her school thinks she’s quite right for the lead role in her school musical.
It’s an inspirational picture book that shares the importance of self-confidence and self-acceptance while taking an earnest look at what happens when that confidence is shaken or lost. And little Tameika, the bright and genial character that she is, will encourage little readers to be accepting of others as well as ourselves.
Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review
“Tameika is a die-hard song-and-dance gal, and the world (including her own backyard) is her stage. Now, having played a cucumber, a space cowgirl, a dinosaur, and a mermaid, she’s going to audition for the biggest school play role yet: the lead in the musical Snow White. But when she overhears her peers gossiping (“She’s too tall.” “She’s much too chubby.” “And she’s too brown.”), Tameika’s strong will wavers. “Maybe she was wrong for wanting to be this princess,” debut author Franklin writes. Enter Tameika’s parents, who give her the encouragement she needs (“You’re just enough of all the right stuff”) to knock ’em dead at the audition. With earnestness and plenty of heart (and offering subtle assurances throughout that Tameika is no prima donna), the creators adroitly make the girl’s problem feel less overwhelming, smartly emphasizing her passion and empowerment. Digital illustrations by Glenn (Mommy’s Khimar) are forthright in portraying Tameika’s talent, ambition, and the joy both bring her. It’s refreshing to see female confidence portrayed without a single “aw, shucks” moment, and important to be reminded that there’s no one right way to be a princess.”
Kirkus Starred Review
“A little black girl hold true to her dream that on the theater stage you can be whatever you want—even Snow White. Tameika is a bubbly, outgoing singer and dancer who loves the stage. She has played various roles, such as a cucumber, a space cowgirl, and a dinosaur, but never a princess. This charming tale tackles the complex subject of biases around race and body image when Tameika overhears her classmates’ whispers: “She can’t be Snow White,”; “She’s much too chubby"“; “And she’s too brown.” Tameika goes on a journey of self-acceptance as she grapples with her feelings aobut wanting to be a princess. Glenn’s playful, animation-inspred digital art will enchant readers as it immerses them in Tameika’s vivid imagination. New fans may seek out her previous work in Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow’s “Mommy’s Khimar” (2018) and Michelle Meadows’ “Brave Ballerina” (2019.) The vibrant colors and active compositions enhance the story, reflecting Tameika’s changing emotions and her interactions with her parents, whose positive affirmations help give Tameika the courage and self-love to remember how much joy she gets from performing. For kids who like to imagine themselves being anything they want to be, it is reassuring to be reminded that it’s not exterior looks that matter but the princess within. A fell-good picture book and a great reminder that classic princess roles can be reimagined to embrace inclusion, diversity, and body positivity.”