Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

7 CDs. 7:57 hrs. Listening Library. May 2018. $55. ISBN 9780525595472. digital download.
Gr 4–6—All dwarf Borlen wants is a friend, minerals to munch, and a shot at seeing The Surface. Instead, he is grudgingly accepted as a Seventh on a six-dwarf work crew, and spends his days clearing rubble in caverns deep underground. While mining close to The Surface, Borlen gets a breath of fresh air and can't resist exploring further. Later, at the castle with his new friend Queen Elfrieda, she offers him bread ("blech"), a soft bed (so uncomfortable!), and a place at her side. Borlen doesn't notice her attentions hide trickery. Shurtliff deftly hides clues and references from traditional stories. A magic mirror, Borlen's grumpy personality, and an independent princess who loves apples all are presented to keep young readers on their toes. Threaded into the tale are gentle lessons in honesty, friendship, and differing concepts of "fair." Paul Fox crisply voices Borlen's first-person narrative, along with Snow, the Queen, various dwarves, and a gnome and troll or two.
VERDICT A delightful listen, sure to engage young fairy-tale fans, with enough depth to intrigue older listeners. Consider for all elementary library collections.

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