Not Quite Snow White

Book review by
Diondra K. Brown, Common Sense Media
Not Quite Snow White Book Poster Image
Heartwarming story shows a princess can be any color.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Teaches lots of social-emotional skills, including labeling your emotions. 

Positive Messages

Self-love is the central theme, along with the importance of confidence, perseverance, and uniqueness. Embrace all of your characteristics to achieve your dreams. 

Positive Role Models

Tameika and her parents make up a beautiful and loving Black family, whose features are celebrated in the book’s bright illustrations. Her mother and father are highlighted as positive role models in the story, for helping their daughter understand the importance of her inherent qualities. Care is taken to depict easily identifiable emotions on the faces of the kids, who come from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Not Quite Snow White, by Ashley Franklin and illustrated by Ebony Glenn, tells the story of a young African American girl who loves to sing and dance and wants to try out for the lead role in her school's production of Snow White: The Musical, but at auditions she hears kids whispering that she can't be Snow White because she's "too tall," "much too chubby," and "too brown." With her parents' encouragement and her talent and perseverance, she proves she has "just enough of the all right stuff." This book flawlessly redefines what it means to be a princess in a world where many young children question whether they can truly achieve their dreams because of the color of their skin. The story's captivating illustrations and positive messages -- including embracing diversity and body positivity -- make it a wonderful read-aloud, especially for young children.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 7 years old September 24, 2021

Love things

I think this book was tooooooooooooo good! And I also think you should read it!

Thanks! Love:

Teen, 13 years old Written byMelyssa....... May 20, 2021


I never read it but by the little thing at the bottom it seems really cute and nice like how any princess can be any color!

What's the story?

In NOT QUITE SNOW WHITE, young Tameika is a triple threat: She can sing, dance, and act. When her primary school hosts auditions for a musical rendition of Snow White, she's thrilled about the opportunity to audition for the lead character. While helping her friends rehearse their lines and dance moves, she overhears kids making nasty comments about why she can't play Snow White because of the way she looks. They whisper she's "too tall," "much too chubby," and "too brown." And she wonders, "Could those kids be wrong?" Or "maybe she was wrong for wanting to be this princess." After feeling low, her parents assure her that she's "just enough of all the right stuff," but she has to overcome her heartbreak if she wants to achieve her goal. Luckily, she can go back and try out on the second day of auditions.  

Is it any good?

This delightful, relatable story of believing in yourself and following your dreams puts a diverse cast of characters on center stage. Emphasizing talent and self-love, Not Quite Snow White shows that it's essential to never let anything or anyone keep you from pursuing your dreams, and that anyone can be anything, if you just believe. The colorful and detailed cartoon-like illustrations capture the changing nature of Tameika's emotions as the story's events unfold.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a princess in Not Quite Snow White. How have books, movies, and cartoons shaped what people think a princess looks like? Do you think anyone should be able to play any part in a play or in a game? 

  • Has anyone ever told you that you couldn't do something because of the color of your skin or shape of your body? How did that make you feel?

  • Tameika is passionate about singing, dancing, and acting. What activities are you passionate about, and how do they help you express yourself? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love books that boost self-esteem and promote body positivity

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