Slashdown’s Weblog

June 28, 2016

Rose Red, Snow White, and Bad Jew

Filed under: Uncategorized — slashdown @ 9:51 pm
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(the source for the image is an illustration by ©Ruth Sanderson)

I found, in a children’s section of a local library, a large-format book with a colorful cover and the title “Rose Red and Snow White”, “Retold [from brothers Grimm] and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson”.
The relevant detail here it that the tale includes a repulsive antagonist – a rich, greedy, ungrateful, rude, scheming, thieving, cruel dwarf. Quite an odious character.
The illustrator chose to present this character as a stereotypical cartoonish Jew:RoseRedSnowWhiteNotes_html_4e9c5c76

This is the most telling picture in the book as regards the dwarf’s ethnicity, though the others support the same stereotype.

And I could not find anything close to this level of stereotyping in any other printed version of the tale.

Now, I am all for the freedom of speech and press – but a children’s book? In children’s sections in several libraries around? 

I understand that there are much more pressing problems related to antisemitism.
However, subjecting children in their very impressionable age to direct associations between the most egregious behavior and typical Jewish facial characteristics – isn’t it one of the seeds, from which come weeds of antisemitism? 

Just very recently, the American Red Cross have had to apologize for and remove pool safety posters, where dark-skinned kids were often chosen to illustrate forbidden behavior.

I think that children’s books deserve no less attention.

I tried to contact the artist via e-mail, found on her personal Web site, but I get no reply back.

(The editions are of 1997, 2013 and 2015 years (the last has ISBN 978-1-566656-910-1) )


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