Not Quite Snow White

by Ashley Franklin (Author) Ebony Glenn (Illustrator)

Not Quite Snow White
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted nothing more than to play Snow White in her school's musical. Excitedly, Tameika dances and sings her way through the halls. But on the day of the auditions, she overhears some kids suggesting that she is not princess material. Tamika suddenly doesn't feel quite right enough to play a perfectly poised princess.

Tameika is a girl who belongs on the stage. She loves to act, sing, and dance--and she's pretty good at it, too. So when her school announces their Snow White musical, Tameika auditions for the lead princess role.

But the other kids think she's "not quite" right to play the role.

They whisper, they snicker, and they glare.

Will Tameika let their harsh words be her final curtain call?

Not Quite Snow White is a delightful and inspiring picture book that highlights the importance of self-confidence while taking an earnest look at what happens when that confidence is shaken or lost. Tameika encourages us all to let our magic shine.

Publishers Weekly

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. Ages 4-8. (July)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2—A young black girl named Tameika loves singing, dancing, and acting. She's always felt the most free to be herself onstage, and always been the star—but she's never gotten to be a princess. When auditions for a school Snow White musical are announced, Tameika finally sees her chance; but when she overhears other students whispering that she is "too tall, too brown, and too chubby" to play the lead, she begins to doubt herself. When she explains her concerns to her parents, they tell her that she is "just enough of the right stuff" to be the perfect princess. Armed with their support, she remembers her joy for performing and scores the lead role. Glenn's vibrant digital illustrations vividly portray Tameika's emotions and personality, showing her clearly as a star in the making. The message of the book is wonderfully affirming, but the resolution feels abrupt: all it takes is one brief conversation with Tameika's parents to resolve all of her self-doubt. Abruptness aside, this is a recommended choice. VERDICT A fast, feel-good read that affirms anyone can be a princess regardless of size or race, and, in particular, supports and empowers young black girls.—Kelsey Socha, Ventress Memorial Library, Marshfield, MA

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2019
Age Range
4 - 8 years

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