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Disney Books Today

Snow White

Hofstra Special Collections item, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves published by Whitman in 1938.

Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves published in 2003 by Random House.

Snow White

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves published by Random House in 2009.

Cinderella

Cinderella published in 1950 by Simon and Schuster, courtesy of Hofstra Special Collections.

Cinderella

Cinderella published by Random House in 2005.

Cinderella

Cinderella published by Random House in 2012. 

The Disney Books Today collection consists of the physical changes of the Cinderella and Snow White children's literature over the years, ranging from 1938 to 2012. The publishers have made slight changes when printing each edition of the book, which could possibly be due to marketing strategies or the fact that different publishing companies have different ideas. Whether it is marketing or differentiating between two publishing companies, the novels do not change in context, but merely in design. 
 
The Snow White book published by Whitman in 1983 has a much different appearance on the outside compared to the Snow White books published later on in 2003 and 2009. The background of the oldest Snow White book is entirely green with a reef to surround Snow White and the dwarves around her, ultimately making this a focal point for the cover. In contrast to the 1938 version, the 2003 print has scenery to match the context of the book. The tree in the background gives the reader a better idea about what the text will include and also gives clues to what the setting of the story wil be like. The 2009 version also give insight to the readers because it shows a similar setting of a forest, but it is unique compared to the 1938 and 2003 due to the fact that it also shows Snow White surrounded by animals. The most significant difference between the 1938 print and the 2003 and 2009 editions is Snow Whites dress. Within the 1938 book cover Snow White is wearing a pink dress with a pink bow, but in the 2003 and 2009 version she is wearing a red bow with the blue, yellow, and red dress. 
 
While the changes in the Snow White book seem strategic in order to give the reader insight into the setting and characters, Cinderella seems to change in order to draw the readers attention to the front book cover. The 1950 edition printed by Simon and Schuster shows some insight, similar to Snow White in 1938, by having birds and mice on the cover to show a piece of the story that may intrigue people enough to make them purchase the book. The 2005 edition published by Random House is slightly less informative about the happenings within the book because it only features a landscape scene behind Cinderella and a few birds. In comparison to the 1938 and 2012 editions it has less of an impact on someone who may browse by it because it is not as intriuging as the other versions. The 2012 version is the most bright in color and gives the reader a lot of information just based on the cover image. The cover features the glass slipper, the fairy God mother, the mice, and even the transfomed pumpkin carriage, making it the most successful at grabbing the attention of someone who may see it. The most significant change between the 1938 version and the 2005 and 2012 versions is the fact that Cinderella's dress is pink in the 38' print. Although her dress truly is pink when she makes it herself within the story, it is eventually transformed into blue, which in turn ends up being the distinctive color to associate with Cinderella.