Set in New York City during the Great Depression, Phelan removes almost all of the magic and keeps the evil and the charm.
Samantha (Snow) White's new stepmother is the Queen of the Follies - Ziegfeld's Follies. As soon as she enters Snow's family, she banishes Snow to boarding school. Then the new wife engineers the death of Snow's father, the King of Wall Street, to seize hold of his vast fortune, one of the few that remain after the Crash of 1929.
Phelan's gray scale drawings (with a breath of color and splashes of red) are full of emotion and action. (Cue swirling ominous music....)
December is a month of darkness, hearth sides, magic. It's a time to tell tales and imagine what else might exist in the cold. Gnomes, trolls, fairies made of snow flakes - imps that write on our attic windows while we sleep - as the lights come on, all those things might be true - out there - in the dark.
My favorite fairy tale - East of the Sun, West of the Moon - takes place in the winter and stars a polar bear, a peasant girl and trolls. Just about perfect. The link will lead you to 44 retellings of this story.
Another winter story that haunts me is the Cinderella-like folktale The Twelve Months or Strawberries in the Snow. Marushka - and her name varies in the retellings - lives with her aunt and cousins (or sisters and stepmother) - and is treated cruelly. She is sent out in the dead of winter to find fresh strawberries. (One link will lead you to Rafe Martin's retelling; the other, to a whole Pinterest page of illustrations.)
Winter tales belong to the D'Aulaires. Their books are full of creatures and mythology of the North. Scratchy colorful paintings offer stories of strange beings like ...trolls. Look for their books at your public library. Whenever I think of winter fairytales, Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire spring to mind.