Abadeha: the Philippine Cinderella
Adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz
llustrated by Youshang Tang
Part of a series of retold Cinderella stories from various cultures; Abadeha features all the elements that make this ancient format ever popular. The author researched the traditional Filipino folk tale, "a casualty of more than three hundred years of Spanish colonization and a century of Americanization," and lovingly presents the beautiful daughter, wicked stepmother and stepsisters, absent father, and Spirit of the Forest who magically rescues the heroine. Instead of white mice, there is a sarimanok, "a chicken with long flowing tail and feathers the color of the rainbow." Instead of a hearth of ashes, there is a mat torn up by a wild pig to be rewoven like new. But, of course, there is a handsome prince, a search for the maiden who can remove the ring from his finger, and a wedding at the end. I especially liked the title page using the "ancient and now forgotten system of writing" called Alibata, and the beautiful light-filled pictures of exotic clothing, flowers and animals that make this book so special. 2001, Shen's Books, $16.95. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: Judy Chernak (Children's Literature).
Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Drawing on the Cinderella story, Tomie DePaola offers an original tale with a Mexican setting. Dona Micaela and her haughty daughters exhibit charm for the beautiful Adelita and her long-time nurse Esperanza, but after her father's death, the warmth turns decidedly chilling. Banishing the faithful nurse, the cruel stepmother forces Adelita to labor as a kitchen maid. The young girl longs to attend the fiesta in honor of her childhood friend and eligible bachelor, Javier. Here DePaola departs from the familiar and dispenses with magic. It is Esperanza who comes to Adelita's aid when she gives her a beautiful gown and colorful rebozo (shawl) that once belonged to her mother. At the fiesta, Javier has eyes only for the beautiful stranger who calls herself Cenicienta (Cinderella). In his search for her the next day, it is the sight of the rebozo hanging from a window that leads Javier to the home of his beloved. The gentle Adelita forgives her stepmother and stepsisters and in true fairy tale fashion she and Javier live "muy felices por siempre." De Paola's signature style is evident in the brightly colored acrylics with handsome Mexican tile borders. Decorative folk-art touches extend the Mexican setting. In this tale it is not magic that transforms the kitchen maid but the love and compassion of a dutiful nurse. Gentle humor and a clever plot twist gives this familiar story fresh appeal. The Spanish phrases interjected in the text are sometimes clumsy and detract from the flow but are a minor flaw in an otherwise engaging tale. 2002, G. P. Putnam, $16.99. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey (Children's Literature).
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2003; H.W. Wilson; United States
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2003; National Council for the Social Studies NCSS; United States
Anklet for A Princess: A Cinderella Story From India
Adapted by Meredith Brucker
Illustrated by Youshang Tang
Offer this unique and entertaining twist on the Cinderella story to kindergarteners on up for a tantalizing view of the age-old tale. The story from India reflects cultural traits that include using a bracelet, referred to as an anklet, instead of the familiar glass slipper. During the course of the tale, Cinduri, the stepdaughter of a woman who likes her own daughter best, shows courage and intelligence when finding a way out of a bad living situation. Befriended by Godfather Snake, Cinduri gains the opportunity to attend the annual Navarati Festival where she meets the Prince and wins his love. However, her need to leave the festival by midnight results in her loss of one of her anklets during her flight. The ending follows the original tale when the Prince seeks to find the girl who lost something, in this case the anklet, so he may pursue her hand in marriage. Upon finding Cinduri, he invites her to wed and her days of living with the evil stepmother and stepsister are over. Vibrant but soft spreading watercolors fill the pages with memorable illustrations. Framed and bordered text compliments the illustrations of this "must have" book. 2002, Shen's Books, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury (Children's Literature).
Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale
Retold by Joanne Compton
Illustrated by Kenn Compton
In this tale from Appalachia, a servant girl named Ashpet lives in a cabin by Eagle's Nest Mountain, where she chops firewood, washes clothes and does chores all day long for the Widow Hooper and her two cranky daughters, Myrtle and Ethel. Ashpet has so much work to do that she cannot even attend the annual Church picnic. Her life changes for the better when old Granny shows up and works some magic. Ashpet attends the picnic, outshines the widow's daughters, and ends up capturing the heart of Doc Ellison's son. On her way home from the picnic, Ashpet kicks off one of her fancy red shoes and asks the doctor's son to find it. After he finds the shoe, Ashpet disappears and he vows to find the lady whose foot fits the pretty red shoe. When he finally ends up at Widow Hooper's house, not only does he find his true love Ashpet, but he also sees how she has been terribly mistreated by the widow and her daughters. To save Ashpet from despair, he takes her out of that dreadful house and marries her. Young readers will enjoy the humorous drawings used to illustrate this refreshingly funny story. 1994, Holiday House, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Debra Briatico (Children's Literature).
Awards, Honors, Prizes:
North Carolina Literary and Historical Association Awards Winner 1994 United States
Illustrated by Niall Harding
If you are familiar with the Disney characters and can picture them as ballerinas, then this is the perfect reader for you. It opens with a princess dreaming about dancing. She looks familiar as she twirls and moves about the forest with all the creatures watching her. The real surprise is that she meets a very handsome prince who becomes her dancing partner. Next, we meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She also dances her way through several pages. Then, it is Aurora from Sleeping Beauty who dreams about dancing. Finally, Cinderella dances at the royal ball in her dreams; once teamed with the prince, she becomes part of a lovely couple that glides across the dance floor. Ariel dreams of dancing with Prince Eric, but since she is a mermaid that won't be possible. The artwork looks just like it came right off the screen of a Disney movie. A level 2 book in the "Step into Reading" series. 2007, Disney/Random House, Ages 4 to 8, $3.99. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda
Illustrated by Duésan Petriéciâc
The familiar tales of Cinderella and The Jungle Book are tipped on their heads in this unusual, alliterative tale. Bob, as a baby, is abandoned by his mother during a trip to the beauty parlor. Subsequently, he is adopted by a band of dogs who care for him in his parents' absence. Dorinda, meanwhile, loses her parents in a tragic accident and is then relegated to the care of guardians who fill her days with drudgery. However, this spirited girl is not about to take such treatment for long. After quickly packing a bag, she heads off on her own. A deluge of rain causes her to seek shelter in the bush from which Bob is peeking out, and the pair forms a necessary alliance. Before long, Dorinda is teaching her new ally the essential elements of communication, and Bob's feral characteristics begin to dwindle. When an unlikely beast menaces the town, it is Dorinda and Bob to the rescue! Like the best fairy tales, Margaret Atwood's peculiar story has an upbeat ending. Still, readers may grow tired of the tongue-twisting required by this lengthy book. Duésan Petriéciâc's illustrations neatly separate the worlds of Bob and Dorinda into gold and purple tones. The whimsical illustrations neatly complement this outlandish story. 2006, Bloomsbury, $17.95. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green (Children's Literature).
Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella"
In grief stricken anger, Etienne de Brabrant blames his wife's death on their newborn daughter and abandons her. On an isolated estate Old Mathilde raises Cendrillon and a boy infant. The two young people have no idea of the role they will play in the future of their country. Raoul's birthday wish is to know his identity and Cendrillon's wish is that what she plants on her mother's grave will not wither and die at midnight on her birthday. One of Cendrillon's other wishes does come true, a stepmother and two stepsisters. Forced into marriage by the king, Chantal de Saint Andre and her daughters are dismayed to be banished to the country. Upon arrival they assume Cendrillon is a servant, as her father has told no one he has a daughter. Although invited to the Prince's ball where he will choose a wife, Cendrillon's father orders his wife and stepdaughters not to attend, but she does attend, with her three daughters, forcing de Brabrant to acknowledge Cendrillon. The father's wickedness, the quirky magic that envelops the remote estate, and the likeability of the stepmother, add a breath of fresh air to an old tale. Recommended. 2007, Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), 208pp., $5.99 pbk. Ages 11 to 18. Ruth Cox Clark (Library Media Connection, August/September 2007).
Belinda and the Glass Slipper
Belinda the ballerina is back in her third book. She is auditioning for the Grand Metropolitan Ballet's upcoming production of Cinderella. Her competition for the leading part, Lola Mudge, expects to be selected because she has such small feet. Belinda's huge feet just do not qualify. The maestro, however, subjects the girls to a complete tryout. Belinda leaps higher, spins faster, and is more graceful than Lola. Banished to a supporting role, Lola sets out to make everyone miserable throughout the weeks of practice. Then on opening night, Lola steals Belinda's glass slippers (made of cloth with sparkles on them) and locks her in a closet. Lola lies to the maestro and stuffs the large ballet shoes with cotton so they will stay on her feet. Fortunately, the show's fairy godmother hears Belinda's screams and releases her from the closet. Belinda steps on stage just as the ball is getting started. Lola dashes over to dance with the prince. As she leaps and spins, the stuffing slips from the shoes. When the prince looks for the owner of the lost slipper, he, of course, finds Belinda. Lola tries to butt in, but Belinda out-dances her beautifully. The audience is dazzled and the ballet is a great success. Lola gives up ballet and becomes a hockey player. The colorful, active pictures feature Belinda as tall, thin, and supple with huge feet. Lola is petite with tiny feet. A parody of the traditional Cinderella tale, the contrast is obvious, as is the message about mean-spirited people getting what they deserve. 2006, Viking, $15.99. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, Supplement, 2007; H.W. Wilson; United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Great Lakes Great Books Award, 2007-2008; Nominee; Grades K-1; Michigan
Bella at Midnight
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
This is a beautiful, compelling, suspenseful tale. Intricately told from the various perspectives of many characters, it is the story of Bella and Julian, two children of the Middle Ages. Bella, the daughter of a knight, and Julian, a prince, are both fostered to the same wet-nurse as babies, and grow up happily together in a peasant village that is part of the Kingdom of Moranmoor. When they are teenagers, though, a truce is negotiated in a hundred-year war with the neighboring kingdom, Brutanna, and royal hostages are to be exchanged to ensure the peace. Being the youngest son of the king, Julian must go. Soon after, Bella learns the secret of her heritage and is sent away from her loving peasant family to live a Cinderella-like existence with her father and his new wife. But when she becomes aware of a bloody plot that will end the truce and surely cause the hanging of Julian, she runs away to try to save her beloved friend and stop the carnage. Warm-hearted, courageous Bella risks all and manages to bring two armies to their knees. Honor and shame, war and peace, greed and loyalty, love and grief, and gender and class prejudices are all themes that transcend the historical backdrop, and will resonate with young readers. Though somewhat an amalgam of fairy tales past, it has a truly original feel, and is sweet and lovely in the telling. 2006, HarperCollins, $15.99. Ages 9 to 13. Reviewer: Jane Harrington (Children's Literature).
A new twist on a Cinderella story set in Medieval times, this well crafted and satisfying tale is a joy to read. Chapters alternate among viewpoints of several characters, enabling the reader to see characters from both inside and out. Spunky Bella, the protagonist, is at the heart of the story and drives much of the action, in spite of being young and female. The characters are believable and the female characters, in particular, are strong, defiant, capable, and certainly not the submissive maidens of old fashioned fairy tales. The lives of the characters are woven together from disparate threads and reach a fitting conclusion. While the ending may be somewhat predictable, it is, after all, a fairy tale and fantasy. Well written on every level, the language is simple and straightforward enough for younger readers while providing enough turns of phrase to give a definite feel of an earlier time. The fast pace, interesting action, intrigue, and great wit make this novel a fun read. While the author is the winner of numerous of awards for her many fine picture books, older children and adults can hope that she will continue to pen novels such as this gem. 2006, HarperCollins, $15.99. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Kathryn Erskine (Children's Literature).
Diane Stanley, well known for her picture books, writes her first novel. The fantasy has familiar Cinderella elements--glass slippers, magic, royalty, and stepsisters--but the traditional tale fades in the brilliance of Bella's story. Bella's mother dies at her birth and Bella is raised by a kindly farm woman, visited often by Prince Julian, who began life in the same way. Station, situations, and a raging war cannot get in the way of their happily-ever-after. Varying voices and viewpoints capture the fairy-tale voice and allow readers to escape into the story's enchantment. 2006, HarperCollins, $15.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Susie Wilde (Children's Literature).
Best Books of the Year, 2006; School Library Journal; United States
The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2007; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Book Sense Children's Picks, Summer 2006; American Booksellers Association; United States
Booklist Book Review Stars, Feb. 1, 2006; United States
Books for Youth, 2006; Booklist Editor's Choice; United States
Children's Catalog, Nineteenth Edition, 2006; H.W. Wilson; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, April 1, 2006; United States
Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog 2006 Supplement to the Ninth Edition, 2006; H.W Wilson Company; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, March 2006; Cahners; United States
Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2007-2008; Texas Library Association; Master List; Texas
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Beehive Award, 2007-2008; Nominee; Children's Fiction; Utah
Georgia Children's Book Award, 2007-2008; Nominee; Grades 4-8; Georgia
Great Stone Face Award, 2007-2008; Nominee; New Hampshire
The Boll Weevil Ball
Written and illustrated by Kelly Murphy
In this debut picture book by a promising new author/illustrator, Redd is the tiniest member of his Beetle family, so diminutive that even retrieving from the mailbox their invitation to the Boll Weevil Ball offers a challenge of daunting logistics. Primping for the ball is hard (his toothbrush is twice as tall as he is); getting there is even harder (forgotten by his brothers, he hitches a ride by holding tight to the leg of a traveling cricket); and dancing at the ball is hardest of all (as he narrowly avoids being squished underfoot by cowering under an overturned cup). "Things can be so hard when you are small," Redd concludes. But then he meets a delicate firefly, Lily, who dances with him "in their own spotlight" high above the heads of all the taller insects, making his night at the Boll Weevil Ball triumphant and unforgettable. The book, appropriately small in dimensions, portrays Redd as a likeable, if unlikely, Cinderella. Small readers will identify with Redd's vicissitudes and rejoice when he finds his tiny, buggy mate. 2002, Henry Holt, $15.95. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
Donna Jo Napoli
After Xing Xing's beloved father dies, she is left in the care of his second wife, her cruel stepmother. Stepmother's one goal is to help her only daughter, Wei Ping, marry well. Although Wei Ping is already of marriageable age, Stepmother decides to bind her feet, a process that was usually begun in early childhood, to make the girl more attractive to potential suitors. Instead, the girl develops only debilitating pain and a life-threatening infection. While her stepsister heals, Xing Xing becomes the family servant, dressed in rags and secretly practicing the "three perfections"--painting, poetry, and calligraphy--which her father had valued and helped cultivate in her. As Xing Xing attempts to practice her art and evade her evil Stepmother, she finds solace from an unexpected source--a giant fish who may be the spirit of her late mother. Napoli's story bears a general resemblance both to traditional Western Cinderella stories and to the much older Chinese Cinderella tales. By placing her story in a specific time and place (northern China during the Ming Dynasty), Napoli also introduces historical details and themes about the value of women that add depth to the tale. Sophisticated readers will enjoy reading this novel alongside other global versions of the Cinderella tale, including Yeh-Shen, a Chinese Cinderella retelling for younger audiences. 2004, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $16.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Norah Piehl (Children's Literature).
Best Books for Young Adults, 2005; American Library Association YALSA; United States
Booklist Book Review Stars , Dec. 1, 2004; United States
Choices, 2005; Cooperative Children's Book Center
Kirkus Book Review Stars, November 1, 2004; United States
Publishers Weekly Best Children's Books , 2004; Cahners; United States
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, November 8, 2004; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, November 2004; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal: Best Books, 2004; Cahners; United States
Top 10 Historical Fiction for Youth, 2005; Booklist; United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, 2005-2006; Nominee; Vermont
Adapted by Luz Orihuela
Illustrated by Maria Espluga
The story of Cinderella is retold in this Spanish/English bilingual adaptation, part of the bilingual collection of classic fairy tales published by Scholastic. Like other adaptations in this series, the story is succinctly told in simple but elegant sentences that capture the magic of the original tale. The illustrations supplement the story by aptly showing the transitions in Cinderella's status as well as her emotions. Through the illustrations, we can detect her sadness as she first loses her mother, then her father, and becomes the scullery maid for her stepmother and stepsisters. We can visually feel the exuberance she experiences as she first playfully daydreams about attending the prince's ball, her quiet delight as the fairy transforms her, and her speed as she gets away from the palace before the clock strikes midnight. The Cinderella of this story as retold through words and pictures is a melancholic, plain-looking girl transformed into a quiet, happy young woman by the fairy's kindness and the prince's appreciation: her beauty is internal rather than physical. The last illustration shows us the backs of Cinderella and the prince as they hold each other lovingly, contemplating the starry sky. The simplicity of the story and illustrations should please early readers and listeners in kindergarten through second grade. 2006, Scholastic Incorporated, $3.99. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Lilliam Oliva Collmann (Children's Literature).
Mary Jane Auch
Illustrated by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
Hold on to your tiara for this exuberant Cinderella variant. Mary Jane and Herm have obviously had a wonderful time creating fabulous, glittery costumes for the chickens that populate this retelling; featuring a step-chicken, a fairy fowl-mother, and, of course, a princely rooster. The ending here takes a turn as a high fashion business grows out of the creating of suitable clothes for the ball. Lots of grown-up puns to entertain older readers and lots of glitz for younger listeners' eyes to feast upon. The combination of real photography and computer-generated art might not have worked for a sentimental version of the story but is perfectly matched to this chickens run amok version. You might be inspired to create some feathery garb of your own after reading this one. The shoes alone are worth the price of admission. 2005, Holiday House, $16.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan (Children's Literature).
In this variant of the familiar fairy tale, Chickerella, a sweet, fuzzy yellow chick, is happy being raised by her single-rooster parent, until he marries again. Her stepmother arrives with two daughters, sends her new husband off on a "wild goose chase," and moves Chickerella out of the main coop to be their servant. There, while eating only bugs and drinking springhouse water, Chickerella begins to lay eggs of pure glass. As in the traditional story, the stepmother and daughters go off to the prince's Fowl Ball, leaving Chickerella locked in the springhouse. Her Fairy Goosemother provides a lovely gown so that Chickerella can enchant the prince at the ball. How the prince finds her and they begin their Chickerella-fashion clothing line makes an unusual finish to this pun- and fun-filled epic. The upscale parody is visualized with MTV exuberance. The characters are created as mobile sculptures, using objects like spools of thread, dishes, feathers, yarn, metallic wire, bits of architecture, all photographed and composed on a computer. The baroque effect keeps eyeballs moving and the story engaging. Check out the end-papers for a "glossary" of characters and the jacket for portraits of the happy pair. There are also notes on the art of the illustrations. 2005, Holiday House, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewers: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature).
Cinderella (as if you didn't already know the story)
What to read when you want something a little more advanced than a picture book but still need a familiar story? Ensor's new foray into children's literature may fit the bill. Told through the eyes of a young preteen girl and interspersed with letters from Cinderella to her recently deceased mother, this novel is an absolute delight and will capture the attention of the girls and women who read it. Yes, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and probably fuddy-duddy spinsters will enjoy this with equal delectation. The illustrations might appear a bit amateurish, not quite scherenschnitte, not silly or immature, but very appropriate for the text. More than just a fairy tale, this continues the story past the wedding, which may surprise some, but be a comfort to others. One thing remains true to the fairy tale--Cinderella is loved just the way she is, even when she makes mistakes. That alone is an important message for all. A perfect choice for a book club, after school reading program, or just for an individual escape. The rest of the Cinderella is a delicious addition to any library. 2006, Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House, $12.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young (Children's Literature).
Cinderella: A Pop-Up Book
There can never be too many books about Cinderella, and this pop-up version is particularly appealing. The actions are original and fun. By the pull of a tab on the first page Cinderella, in black uniform with white apron, is made to pull in the tightly laced bodice of an overweight stepsister. Just by opening another page, the moon races across the evening sky as dancers inside the palace windows sway; while on the opposite side of the spread, with the pull of another tab, Cinderella and the prince curtsey and bow to one another. Near the end, on two opposing sides of a double-page spread, Cinderella can be made to dash down the castle stairs on the left side of the scene while a pull on the right tab causes an elegant carriage to sink away leaving only a large pumpkin behind. All but one of the illustrations is full-page and elegantly wistful. There are some amusing flaps to lift and a final luxuriant wedding pops up with a sky full of white doves! 2006, Bloomsbury, $17.99. Ages 6 up. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich (Children's Literature).
Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story
Retold by Lynn Roberts
Illustrated by David Roberts
Set in the 1930s, this retelling retains the spirit of the traditional French tale within the framework of Art Deco style. Greta cheerfully accepts her change of circumstances when her father absentmindedly marries a woman he meets while not wearing his glasses. The stepmother and her daughters take over Greta's clothing, her room and her life. Roberts has presented an authentic look of the period in both the fashions and settings. Wallpaper, furnishings and pottery of the era are subtly depicted as background to the story. Cinderella hears the news of the royal ball on the radio. Her fairy godmother provides her with a gorgeous white gown and accessories and sends her off in a Rolls Royce. An amusing book to add to the Cinderella collection. 2001, Harry N. Abrams, $16.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
Cinderella at the Ball
Illustrated by Janet LaSalle
Margaret Hillert's Cinderella at the Ball has been reprinted (along with other titles in her fairy tale retells) more than thirty-five years after their original publication. With the simple call, "Come to the ball! Come to the ball!" children will quickly connect this simplified story with traditional Cinderella stories. New activities pages have been added by literacy consultant Shannon Cannon to expand these little books. The activities are arranged to coincide with the five key reading components identified by the National Reading Panel in their 2000 report. However, because of the complexity of several of these activities, I recommend these books in their current format only for children already learning to read within the formal educational environment (not appropriate for most children under five years of age). 2007 (orig. 1970), Norwood House Press, $18.60. Ages 5 to 6. Reviewer: Cathy Puett Miller (Children's Literature).
Robert D. San Souci
Illustrated by David Catrow
A very strange Cinderella has unique charm in this macabre version of the familiar story. San Souci tells her tale in a concise, intricate verse form that includes a grisly sense of humor with its vivid description. She is a skeleton, with a witch to transform her pumpkin, etc. and change her rags to fancy gown. Prince Charnel is left with her snapped-off foot bone to match in order to find his lost love for a most unusual happy ending. Catrow's double page scenes are a fair match for this unusual version, with their contrasting misty hues of glowing pinks and bilious yellows, and broken stone walls with creepy vines and creepier creatures. Of course the main characters, with their costumed skeleton bodies and straggly-haired skulls, steal the show. The happy couple, he in Napoleonic hat and uniform and she with a dandelion sprouting from her head, are the epitome of ghoulish parody, a sure hit with middle schoolers. 2000, Silver Whistle/Harcourt Inc., $16.00. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewers: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature).
Children's Choices, 2001; International Reading Association; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, September 1, 2000; United States
Link to Discussion Guides at Scholastic
Illustrated by Jane Dyer
Full-page portraits of stunning gowns, a unique rhyming scheme, and the charming goodness of two magpies grace the pages of yet another adaptation to the Cinderella collection. Author Nancy Willard and illustrator Jane Dyer have crafted a fairytale brimming with nifty twists and delicate watercolors that will beckon little girls who are enchanted by sparkling jewels, ribbons, lace, and happy endings. The cozy nest that houses a pair of scavenger magpies allows them to peer into the wealthy merchant's windows and snatch up a multitude of gems that shimmer, dream, and shine. Cinderella's beauty shines through and they take her "under their wing" creating the dress of their adopted daughter's dreams to wear at the prince's ball. It's half past eight and the jealous stepsisters, Flora Ann and Fanny Alice, depart to the palace while Cinderella attempts to mend the torn and tattered magpie's handiwork. Thinking her dreams are dashed, Cinderella expresses regret for loosing her mother's gold ring--the one trinket mamma magpie wore on her tail and failed to share. She shook it off, the fairy godmother appeared, and the rest is magical history. "I got it from the magpie's beak." 2003, Blue Sky Press, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Barbara Troisi (Children's Literature).
Cinderella, The Dog and Her Little Glass Slipper
Goode follows her recent foray into fairytales the lavish and chuckle producing, The Dinosaur's New Clothes with another winner. This time her palette is primarily pastels, although her interpretation of the ancient tale popularized by Perrault is equally kind and gentle. Cinderella, the pooch, is somewhat ungainly as both drudge and princess, but in the eyes of her much smaller suitor-prince, she is beautiful. So love should be. Readers small and large will enjoy the canine-themed sculptures and reliefs festooning mansion and castle, as well as Goode's other humorous touches--banquet tables piled high with culinary concoctions of doggie bones, lavishly decorated gowns, and bed canopies embroidered with paw prints. The author was having a good time, and her audience will, too. 2000, Blue Sky Press/Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr (Children's Literature).
Cinderlily: A Floral Fairy Tale In Three Acts
Directed, designed, and choreographed by David Ellwand
Libretto by Christine Tagg
Designer and creator Ellwand deserves top billing for this three-act floral production of the beloved Cinderella story. Combining his experience in floral photography with digital wizardry and a whimsical creative streak, he makes each character from a flower stem. Cinderella is a lily and the Sultan wears purple iris bloomers and a red petal crown. Tagg's "libretto" tells the story in jaunty verse. The pansy-faced stepsisters gloat, "And as for you there, Cinderlily, you simply cannot come. You'll stay right here and clean the house while we are having fun." A deep black backdrop on every page effectively highlights brilliant petal dresses and the delicacy of dancing stem legs with bud feet. As Cinderlily flees the ball at midnight, her lily skirt withers in detail vivid enough to touch. The faceless Cinderlily and Sultan leave much to the imagination, perhaps too much for some children. But this innovative approach stimulates the reader to envision characters and the natural world in new ways. Children easily see the world as animate, and this story will draw them into the garden to find their favorite characters. 2003, Candlewick Press, $16.99. Ages 4 to 9. Reviewer: Ann Philips (Children's Literature).
Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella
Illustrated by Jane Manning
With multiple versions of Cinderella dating back a thousand years, there's always room for one more--especially if the evil stepmother's the orneriest woman west of the Mississippi, and the fairy godmother is a pistol-packing scene-stealer who advises Cindy to get a little gravel in her gizzard. It also helps that this Cindy can wrangle, rope, gallop, and lope with the best of them. The "yee haw" western lingo provides a barrel full of read-aloud fun, and the colorful illustrations crackle with energy and wit. In spite of Cindy's modern spunk, this version stays true to the familiar ending in which she's tickled pink to be riding off into the sunset with Joe Prince. The last page, however, adds a history of cowgirls that salutes their past and present-day accomplishments. Another detail not to be overlooked is the contrasting Cindy pictures on the front and back covers. 2000, Joanna Cotler Books, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Betty Hicks (Children's Literature).
The Children's Literature Choice List, 2001; Children's Literature; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes:
Western Writers of America Spur Awards Winner 2001 Picture Book United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Buckaroo Book Award, 2001-2002; Nominee; K-3; Wyoming
Young Hoosier Book Award, 2004; Nominee; Picture Book (Grades K-3); Indiana
Domitila: A Cinderella Tale From the Mexican Tradition
Adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn
Illustrated by Connie McLennan
Set in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, in the 1800s, this beautifully written and illustrated picture book presents a Mexican version of the traditional Cinderella tale, featuring an admirable heroine who exudes strength, wisdom and resourcefulness even more than physical beauty. Following her mother's precept to "Do every task with care, and always add a generous dash of love." Domitila manages to win the heart of a proud young politician's son, who, refreshingly, must journey to transform himself into a more caring person, before he can find Domitila and live happily ever after. Colorful, realistic oil paintings enhance this appealing book, which also incorporates bilingual Mexican proverbs around the borders, and includes the recipe for the Nopales that first attracted Timoteo to Domitila. A glossary and source note are also included. The longer than average length of the story would make this book more suitable for an older audience than the usual picture book group. 2000, Shen's Books, $16.95. Ages 6 up. Reviewer: Gisela Jernigan, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001; H.W. Wilson; United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Maine Student Book Award, 2001-2002; Nominee; Maine
Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
When workers at the Magic Kingdom go on strike, a crew of teenage kids is brought in to keep the Happiest Place on Earth ticking. Ella lands the part of Cinderella-not because of her name or her looks but because she fits into the costumes. Luke gets the part of Dale, as in the chipmunks Chip and Dale. Both come to the "dream factory" to run away-Ella runs from the sorrow of her older brother's accidental death; Luke runs from his family's expectations that he will follow his dad into business. As they play their character roles and immerse themselves in life at the theme park, they begin to question whether or not dreams really come true. Throw in a dashing Prince Charming who is literally chasing after Ella and Luke's beautiful but scheming girlfriend, and life gets complicated. When management comes up with a picture scavenger hunt to help the teenage workers get better acquainted with the park, Luke and Ella find themselves on a team, spending more time together. As their friendship grows, they both struggle with finding the strength to make their dreams come true and whether or not their "happily ever after" includes each other. Written in alternating chapters from Luke and Ella's perspective, the unlikely romance between a princess and a chipmunk has hidden depths as both characters grapple with the challenges of growing up. The behind the scenes intrigue of the Disney enterprise is both realistic and engaging, and offers added levels of discussion as readers question what is "real." Dream Factory deftly combines the fairy tale quality of The Princess Diaries with a touching coming of age story. 2007, Dutton Books, Ages 12 up, $16.99. REVIEWER: Leah Hanson
Gail Levine, who won a well-deserved Newbery honor award in for Ella Enchanted, may have inspired some recent Cinderella stories. This story, which is new in paperback, seems to be the retelling response of an author who loves fairy tales, but hates Cinderella's wimpy character. Levine's Ella is compliant because she lives under the curse of a fairy who's given her a birth "gift" of obedience. As the plot unwinds, it explains all the traditional elements in an untraditional way, as Ella, an adventuresome linguist, takes us around her world of ogres, giants, and magical creatures. She uses wit and humor that win her the heart of the hero, Prince Charm, and lots of new reading fans, too! 1999, HarperTrophy, $5.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Susie Wilde (Children's Literature).
When the fairy Lucinda bestows the "gift" of obedience on Ella at birth, she had not foreseen the horror that would be Ella's life. Imagine having to follow every command. "Jump off the cliff!" "EAT!" She could even be made to betray her kingdom. Ella is a take charge heroine who weaves her own magic spell as she confronts ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and a charming prince with cleverness and determination. This deserves book of the year with its winning combination of humor and adventure. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95, $14.89 and $4.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature).
In a world populated with elves, gnomes and ogres, a young girl lives under the spell of the fairy Lucinda. The spell decrees that Ella must always be obedient. Lucinda meant it to be a gift, but it is a curse. As Ella grows up, she is forced to obey, not merely just orders, but any order put to her directly. This leads to dreadful consequences after her mother's death and her father's remarriage. Enter the evil stepmother, two unattractive, crude stepsisters and a handsome prince. In a take off on Cinderella, Ella dances the night away in glass slippers and finally finds the strength to break the spell. The underlying message is that little girls are told from birth to be nice and obedient, but at some point, women must take control of their own lives. Written for ages 8 and up, the vocabulary level is a bit high and the death of the mother in the beginning of the book could be troubling to a child of 8 or 9. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford (Children's Literature).
Obedience. That was her curse. Upon birth, the fairy Lucinda bestowed the gift of obedience on Ella, which very nearly wrecked her life. Fortunately for her, two-chinned, frizzy-haired Mandy was more than the housekeeper, cook and nanny. While Mandy couldn't prevent problems for Ella, she was able to give her fairy gifts that enabled Ella to help herself. This "expansion" of the classic Cinderella tale will delight middle school readers with its magic, action, humor, drama, and hint of romance. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 9 to 14. Reviewer: Mary Sue Preissner (Children's Literature).
Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K--Grade 6, 12th Edition, 1999; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Best Books for Young Adults, 1998; American Library Association-YALSA; United States
Best Children's Books of the Year, 1997; Bank Street College of Education; United States
The Best Children's Books of the Year, 1998; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Best Fantasy for Youth, 1998; American Library Association-Booklist-Booklist; United States
Best First Novels for Youth, 1998; American Library Association-Booklist; United States
Booklist Book Review Stars, April 15, 1997; United States
Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Fourteenth Edition, 2001; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Books in the Middle: Outstanding Books, 1997; Voice of Youth Advocates; United States
Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2003; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Capitol Choices, 1997; The Capitol Choices Committee; United States
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001; H.W. Wilson; United States
The Children's Literature Choice List, 1998; Children's Literature; United States
Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 1997; American Library Association-Booklist; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, 1997; United States
Los Angeles' 100 Best Books, 1997; IRA Children's Literature and Reading SIG and the Los Angeles Unified School District; United States
Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition, 2000; H.W. Wilson; United States
Notable Books for Children, 1998; American Library Association-ALSC; United States
Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, 1998; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2000; American Library Association-YALSA; United States
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, March 1997; Cahners; United States
Publishers Weekly, The Cuffies: Children's Booksellers Choose Their Favorite (and not-so-favorite) Books of the Year, 1997; Cahners; United States
Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 1998; American Library Association-YALSA; United States
Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002; California Department of Education; California
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, April 1997; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal: Best Books, 1997; Cahners; United States
Young Adults' Choices, 1999; International Reading Association; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes:
ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award Winner 1998 Middle Grade Readers United States
Arizona Young Readers' Award Winner 1999 Middle School Arizona
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Winner 2000 Gr. 6-9 Maryland
California Young Reader Medal Winner 2000 Middle School California
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Winner 1999 Vermont
Emphasis on Reading Winner 1999 Grades 3-5 Alabama
Iowa Teen Award Winner 2000 Iowa
John Newbery Medal Honor Book 1998 United States
Maine Student Book Award Winner 1999 Maine
Massachusetts Children's Book Award Honor Book 2000 Massachusetts
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature Finalist 1999 Children's Literature United States
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Winner 2000 Illinois
Young Hoosier Book Award Winner 2000 Gr. 6-8 Indiana
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 1999-2000; Nominee; Grades 6-9; Maryland
Buckeye Children's Book Award, 2001; Nominee; Grades 6-8; Ohio
California Young Reader Medal, 2000; Nominee; Middle School; California
California Young Reader Medal, 2000; Nominee; Middle School/Junior High; California
Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award Reading List, 1999-2000; Nominee; Arkansas
Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2001; Nominee; Colorado
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, 1999; Nominee; Vermont
Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2000; Nominee; Washington
Georgia Children's Literature Awards, 1999; Nominee; Grades 4-8; Georgia
The Golden Archer Award, 2000-2001; Nominee; Middle/Junior High; Wisconsin
Great Stone Face Award, 1998-1999; Nominee; New Hampshire
Indian Paintbrush Book Award, 2002; Nominee; Wyoming
Iowa Children's Choice Award, 1999-2000; Nominee; Iowa
Maine Student Book Award, 1998-1999; Nominee; Maine
Mark Twain Award, 1999-2000; Nominee; Missouri
Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 2000; Nominee; Massachusetts
Michigan Reader's Choice Award, 2000; Nominee; Grades 3-5; Michigan
The Nene Award, 2002; Nominee; Hawaii
The Nene Award, 2003; Nominee; Hawaii
Nevada Young Readers' Award, 1999; Nominee; Intermediate; Nevada
Nutmeg Children's Book Award, 2000; Nominee; Connecticut
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 1999-2000; Nominee; Pennsylvania
Prairie Pasque Award, 2000; Nominee; South Dakota
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award, 2000; Nominee; Illinois
Rhode Island Children's Book Award, 1999; Nominee; Rhode Island
South Carolina Book Awards, 2000; Nominee; Junior Book; South Carolina
South Carolina Book Awards, 2000; Nominee; Children's Book; South Carolina
Texas Bluebonnet Award, 1998-1999; Nominee; N/A; Texas
Utah Children's Book Awards, 1999; Nominee; Children's Fiction; Utah
William Allen White Children's Book Award, 1999-2000; Nominee; Kansas
Link to Reading Guides at HarperCollins
Ella's Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella
By adding a twist to a familiar tale, Hughes comes up with a winner. She accomplishes this with illustrations that dazzle and text that sings out the story. The wispy illustrations possess a dreamy quality and include fashions resembling French gowns of the 1920s. Changes from the original story include the transformation of a bike into a limo for the ride to the ball, the change of a frazzled cat into a handsome chauffer, and the covering of Ella's hair with a frilly lace hat in order to keep her identity a secret. At the ball, the Duke, not a prince, courts Ella. The familiar element where Ella's foot fits the glass slipper remains. However, Ella politely declines the Duke's marriage proposal. It is here that she demonstrates the right of a woman to make her own decisions as she chooses her attentive, sweet boyfriend over the Duke. This first-rate book is highly deserving of its Kate Greenway medal. Readers of all ages will enjoy it. 2005 (orig. 2003), Simon & Schuster, $16.95. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury (Children's Literature).
The Children's Literature Choice List, 2005; Children's Literature; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, December 2004; Cahners; United States
Fair, Brown & Trembling: An Irish Cinderella story
There was once a widower who had three daughters. The older two, Fair and Brown, would not allow the youngest, Trembling, out of the house because "she was very beautiful, and they were terrified she would marry before they did." But lo and behold, the henwife arrived one Sunday and asked Trembling why she wasn't at church. When Trembling said she had only her old clothes, the henwife put on her cloak of darkness, clipped a piece of fabric from Trembling's old clothes and created a beautiful gown and a pretty pair of shoes. Off she went to church, not once but three times. On the last visit, the Prince of Emania grabbed her slipper. Readers will easily recognize this Cinderella variant. The tone and descriptions will draw the reader into this smoothly written retelling. The crisp stylized figures in medieval garb stand out against the clean backgrounds and the lush green of the countryside, allowing the reader to focus on the marvelous facial expressions. Don't miss the green-with-envy faces of the older sisters when the prince recognizes Trembling. 2000, Farrar Straus and Giroux, $16.00. Ages 6 up. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo (Children's Literature).
The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2001; Bank Street College of Education; United States
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001; H.W. Wilson; United States
Pictures by Mark Buehner
Hard working Fanny Agnes dreams of marrying a prince someday. When she hears that the mayor is hosting a ball, she knows that this is her big chance. Surely her fairy godmother will come and transform her. But no, that night it is Heber Jensen who appears on the scene and offers her a chance to be his lifelong partner. Fanny marries Heber, works the farm, and raises their children. It is a witty twist on a familiar story and is beautifully illustrated. Fannie did not give up her dream; she did indeed marry a prince of a fellow. 1996, Dial, $14.99. Ages 5 up. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot (Children's Literature).
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001; H.W. Wilson; United States
The Children's Literature Choice List, 1997; Children's Literature; United States
Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 1996; American Library Association-Booklist; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, 1996; United States
Notable Books for Children, 1996; American Library Association-ALSC; United States
Notable Books for Children, 1997; American Library Association-ALSC; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, April 1996; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal: Best Books, 1996; Cahners; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes:
ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award Winner 1997 Picture Books United States
Boston Globe--Horn Book Awards Honor Book 1996 Picture Book United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
California Young Reader Medal, 1999; Nominee; Primary; California
Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 1998; Nominee; Kentucky
Texas Bluebonnet Award, 1998-1999; Nominee; N/A; Texas
Utah Children's Book Awards, 1998; Nominee; Picture Book; Utah ISBN: 0803714963
The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story
Illustrated by Reynold Ruffins
In this handsome Cinderella variant set in the Spice Islands, Damura's mother on her deathbed advises her daughter to be kind to all wild creatures. In a delightful and childlike twist, Damura is bribed with a beautiful handmade doll to plead her would-be stepmother's case to her father. When the stepmother and her daughter arrive, the work piles on and as Damura kneels by the river doing laundry, her old sarong floats away in the current and a crocodile hears her sobs of despair. In exchange for Damura's politeness and rocking her smelly and sharp-toothed baby, Grandmother Crocodile offers to retrieve the sarong but returns instead with a sparkling silver one. When the greedy sister tries the same thing, but is cruel to the baby and crisp with Grandmother, she wins a dirty leech-covered rag. A prince seeks a bride, so the silver sarong goes to the sister, but Grandmother Crocodile supplies a carriage and an outfit. The prince claims his bride with the lost slipper, but the jealous stepmother and daughter push Damura into the river where she is eaten by a crocodile. In a truly funny sequence, Grandmother confronts her river-children and a fat young crocodile owns up to his mistake, coughs, and out steps Damura. The evil-doers flee and the new princess and her family live happily ever after while the watchful eyes of the crocodiles float above the mangrove-edged water. Ruffins's handsome acrylic paintings reflect the Indonesian love of color and pattern, and the page designs vary to include bordered and unbordered illustrations and several eloquent silhouette vignettes. Sierra's telling is strong and fun to read aloud. Her inclusion of a useful author note will fascinate older readers as it suggests travel routes this Cinderella tale may have taken, acknowledges the Chinese version as the earliest written, and sorts out variations in motifs, such as slippers and helpers across cultures. Savvy listeners may also connect the good/greedy girl rewards with numerous other tales such as Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop, 1987) or Charlotte Huck's Toads and Diamonds (Greenwillow, 1996). The Philippine Rockabye Crocodile by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey (Greenwillow, 1988) for a younger audience, contains only the good sister/greedy sister segment of this story. A first rate retelling and a fine addition to the groaning shelf of Cinderella variants. 2000, Simon & Schuster, $17.00. Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Susan Hepler, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella
Adapted by Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Newbery award winning author Paul Fleischman has skillfully blended over 20 different versions of Cinderella into one cohesive whole. Flavored with the spice of many cultures, this new version has a delicious, chewy descriptive language that cries for reading aloud. Teachers who introduce the genre of folktales will find this book a useful model for writing assignments. Children could be encouraged to write their own version of a popular fairy tale. Compare and contrast this title with another unusual Cinderella, such as, an Irish version of Billy Beg and his Bull, the Irish Cinderlad. The illustrations are flavored with designs from the many cultures of this version's origins. The pictures are executed with gouache paints in a primitive folk style. The result is a unique Cinderella that is exceptional for its usefulness in the classroom and the beauty of its illustrations and language. Fleischman only cited one source for his many Cinderella versions, Judy Sierra's Cinderella (Oryx Press, 1992). Students of children's literature, and classroom teachers would have appreciated and found a use for a complete list of references. Highly Recommended. 2007, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 32pp., $16.95 hc. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Dr. Audrey Irene Daigneault (Library Media Connection, November/December 2007).
Fleischman (of Joyful Noise fame) takes on the notion of central story and worldwide variants here, deliberately (and, it must be said, elegantly) intermingling multiple stories from different continents to bring us a sort of global Cinderella. The effect is of one of those old-fashioned flip-books that animate the story as you turn the pages, changing and then changing yet again, even while the reader seeks to advance a single story thread. It's a creative approach that works nicely in the pages of this inventively-illustrated picture book. Julie Paschkis' gouache illustrations are inspired by folk art traditions from numerous regions of the world, including fabric art, design motifs and folk iconography. A few elements jar the reader. Godfather Snake seems a poor fit for an Indian story fragment, since the custom of godfathers is not a particular tradition of the subcontinent. And, of course, there's the question raised by some folklore scholars: Are the so-called Cinderella stories really variants of a single story or are they simply many stories with one coincidental motif? If the latter is to be believed, then retelling them all as "Cinderella" tales privileges that motif at the expense of others. Indigenous tales from North America are conspicuously absent. One fragment is noted to be from Appalachia, yet no particular attention is paid to regional nuance in any other country. Or is the implication that China is China, its stories monocultural from Hainan to Xinjiang? Even so, the transitions from text to text are impeccable, the interracial/intercultural wedding scene is completely charming, and this work seems to hold hope for the revitalization of retold tales in picture book form. 2007, Henry Holt, Ages 4 to 8, $16.95. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami (Children's Literature).
Kirkus Book Review Stars, October 1, 2007; United States
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, September 3, 2007; Cahners; United States
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, September 2007; Cahners; United States
The Golden Slipper; A Vietnamese Legend
Retold by Darrell Lum
Illusrated by Makiko Nagano
The Golden Slipper is a variation of the Cinderella story with a wicked stepmother and only one sister. The beautiful fairy godmother appears and tells Tam that she is indeed a princess--strong and kind and with a gentle heart. Tam is aided by her animal friends and fairy godmother, and gets to wear the royal colors of golden orange and yellow including a pair of golden brocade slippers, to the harvest festival. When the prince finds Tam's slipper, it will of course only fit her foot. The final page recaps the origin of this Vietnamese legend. Nagano's bright gold and yellow illustrations resemble woodblock prints painted in watercolor. 1994, Troll, $13.95 and $4.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot (Children's Literature).
Happily Ever After
Edited by Bruce Lansky
Graphics Design by Linda Norton
There are ten interesting, original as well as well-known, stories included in this book of folktales. The stories have been modernized for the current generation. The first story, "The Fairy Godmother's Assistant," is taken from the old Cinderella story. The "Assistant" offers suggestions rather than solving Cinderella's problems. "Cinder Ella" uses her initiative to solve her problems when going to the ball. There are other stories where the young girl saves the day by being more clever than expected. Some stories have settings considered ordinary while others are exotic. Reading about clever girls should inspire other girls to become heroines in their own right. This will be a superior addition to school libraries, as it demonstrates how girls have the ability to solve problems. There are seven other books in the series, listed at the back, where girls demonstrate their superior qualities and encourage readers to become new kinds of heroines. 2007 (orig. 1995), Meadowbrook Creations/Spotlight, $12.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro (Children's Literature).
Hilary Knight's Cinderella
For those readers who collect classics, this version of Cinderella will be noted for its enchanting artwork. Acclaimed artist Hilary Night brings this story of potential and magic alive in glorious detail. Ornate period costume and architecture make you feel like you've landed in the middle of "once upon a time, long, long, ago." He leaves nothing out, including the detail in the tile work around the baseboards and hearth, scrollwork on hat-boxes, book jackets, invitations, vases and the magical pumpkin carriage. On-looking nature reflects the emotion of each scene. The hearts of the characters are mirrored on their faces--the despair of rejection, the green of jealousy, and the joy of being discovered and loved for your inner qualities. The text is well-written. Especially inviting is the hopeful ending, where Cinderella forgives her stepmother and sisters who also learn to love--all under the watchful eye of the fairy godmother. 2001, Random House, $18.99 and $14.95. Ages 5 up. Reviewer: Leslie Verzi Julian (Children's Literature).
If The Shoe Fits
Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens
Cinderella ("Ella") doesn't think she has what it takes to make it through Princess School. And her evil stepsisters, Prunilla and Hagatha, are trying their best to make sure that she fails. But then Ella meets Rapunzel, Snow, and Rose (better known as "Sleeping Beauty"), three other first-year students who befriend her. The four girls support each other and manage to foil the stepsisters' evil tricks. At home, Kastrid, Ella's mean stepmother, is making it almost impossible for Ella to succeed at school. She is ridiculed, mistreated, given extra chores, and blamed for anything that goes wrong in the house. The big issue is whether Ella will be allowed to attend the Royal Coronation Ball, where one student at Princess School is chosen "Princess of the Ball." Of course, Ella doesn't have a gown, or suitable shoes. But Ella is resourceful and uses the skills learned in her stitching class to make a beautiful velvet dress. Although Kastrid forbids Ella to attend the Ball, her friends come to the rescue. Snow White's dwarves make Ella golden suede shoes and Rapunzel acts as her hairdresser. Will Ella make it to the Ball? Who will be crowned Princess of the Ball? Readers find the answers to these questions in this clever book, which will have great appeal to most every girl familiar with childhood fairy tales. The storybook characters come to life; their dialogue moves the interesting plot along. The last chapter sets the scene for a sequel and, possibly, a series. Readers that wondered what happened to their favorite fairy tale characters will enjoy following them along as they make their way through Princess School. 2004, Scholastic, $4.99. Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D. (Children's Literature).
James Marshall's Cinderella
Illustrated by James Marshall
James Marshall's Cinderella, a picture book first published in the late 1980s, has come to life in this animated DVD that closely follows its inspiration. The plot is true to the American spin on the classic French fairytale complete with the absentminded fairy godmother, evil stepsisters, a pumpkin coach, and a lost glass slipper. However, the one much-needed modification is the role of the stepmother. Typically portrayed as an evil and manipulative woman, in this refreshing adaptation she has just one line and simply supports the supporting characters. Marshall's colorful animation is entertaining and fun, and suggests the story is set during the Victorian era. Stephanie Block's sweet narration is complemented by an original, instrumental score and Weston Woods Studios has used creative transitions to keep the nine-minute story moving. In the end, this retelling of a traditional tale offers a more detailed interpretation of how everyone lived happily ever after--which children of all ages will enjoy. 2006, Weston Woods Studios/Scholastic, $59.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Elizabeth Sulock (Children's Literature).
Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale
Retold by Robert D. San Souci
Illustrated by Sergio Martinez
This lengthy Southwestern folktale has a Cinderella-like heroine named Teresa and, instead of a fairy godmother, the Blessed Mary to help her. A gold star is placed on Teresa's forehead by Mary. At a feast, Teresa meets handsome Miguel, but she flees as in the traditional tale. Despite the efforts of the wicked stepmother and sisters, Miguel finds Teresa and, with Mary's help, a happy ending. Martinez's realistic watercolor drawings tell the visual story in theatrical stage settings on full pages. He includes many details of clothing and architecture while using dramatic lighting to enhance emotion. By accentuating the heroine's clean-cut goodness and the stepmother's deviousness, the artist adds to the pleasure of this variation on the moral story. 2000, HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewers: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature).
Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, Supplement, 2002; H.W. Wilson; United States
Los Angeles' 100 Best Books, 2000; IRA Children's Literature and Reading SIG and the Los Angeles Unified School District; United States
An ingenious spoof of the Cinderella story with our hero, a weedy, spotty prince, who wishes he could be big and hairy like his bullying brothers. Unfortunately for him, his fairy godmother is not as competent as in the original fairy story and he ends up heading for the local royal disco in the guise of a huge gorilla with a tiny toy car for transport. Midnight strikes just in time to prevent him from ruining his chances with the local beauty and he makes his escape leaving only his trousers behind. The beautiful princess is determined to track down the hero she thinks saved her from the scary gorilla, and so travels the kingdom to find the only man puny enough to fit the trousers. Cinders gets the girl, and fairy godmother also manages to sort out his hairy brothers once and for all. The prose is modern and witty, and children will especially enjoy the very funny illustrations. 1997 (orig. 1987), Puffin Books/Penguin Books Ltd, $6.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Sue Hooper (Children's Literature). ISBN: 0140555250
Illustrated by Graham Kennedy
The artists who prepared this pop-up book obviously had as much fun as the reader does. The sub-title, "A Jurassic Classic Pop-Up," prepares you for a take-off on a classic fairy tale and the title lets you know which one. The writer assumes the reader is already familiar with Cinderella and her family problems so the words skim lightly and briefly through the story and let the pictures revisit the high spots with dinosaur characters. What fun it will be for readers and listeners to notice such things as lipstick on the girl dinosaurs and bow ties on the boys; and when Rexerella slips her huge reptilian foot into the glass slipper you can that Prince Charmosaurus is quite taken by endearing dinosaur qualities. His look of pride and delight at their wedding is a perfect ending to fun book. 2002, Little Simon, $9.99. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich (Children's Literature).
The Rough-Face Girl
Illustrations by David Shannon
In this Algonquin Indian tale, the Rough-Face Girl is scarred from years of tending the fire for her family. She is mistreated by her sisters, who go on a journey to find and marry the Invisible Being. The Rough-Face Girl desires to meet this mysterious power and decides to embark on her own search. When she meets up with the sister of the Invisible Being, she is put through a test. After she answers all of the questions correctly, she bathes in the lake. While in the water, her scars vanish and she ends up marrying the Invisible Being. Magnificent paintings and moving prose perfectly capture the beauty of the natural world in this Native American version of Cinderella. 1992, Putnam, $16.99 and $5.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Debra Briatico (Children's Literature).
Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for Pre-K-Grade 6, Tenth Edition, 1993; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Kaleidoscope, A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8, 1994; National Council of Teachers of English; United States
Kirkus Book Review Stars, 1992; United States
Serving Native American/First Nation Youth Populations, 2003; ALSC American Library Association; United States
Teachers' Choices, 1993; International Reading Association; United States
Awards, Honors, Prizes:
ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award Winner 1993 Picture Books United States
Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award Winner 1999 Easy to Read United States
State and Provincial Reading Lists:
Flicker Tale Children's Book Award, 1994; Nominee; Picture Books; North Dakota
Michigan Reader's Choice Award, 1996; Nominee; Grades Pre-K--2; Michigan
Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award, 1999; Nominee; Oregon
Utah Children's Book Awards, 1996; Nominee; Picture Book; Utah
Vanessa Gill-Brown and Mandy Stanley
The Cinderella story is turned upside down when Diamante, a little girl who wants to be a fairy godmother, decides to turn her dog into a human. She convinces Ruff that life as Rufferella will be wonderful. The change is accomplished through a new hairstyle, girlish clothing, manners training and singing lessons. Soon, Rufferella has emerged as a singing sensation in high demand at all of the best parties. Diamante acts as Rufferella's assistant. When they attend a very exclusive ball, poor Rufferella loses control of herself and leaps across the banquet table to gobble up a platter of sausages. Diamante rushes the dog out while the guests are still dumbfounded at the discovery that Rufferella is a dog. Once they are home, they decide together that the old life was better. The clear lesson is that while adventures are fun, it is always best to be oneself. This is an amusing story with large, comical illustrations. 2000, Scholastic, $12.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Carol E. Lynch (Children's Literature).
Children's Choices, 2002; International Reading Association; United States
Karen M. Bourgeois
Illustrated by Ethan Long
Trollerella, a hideous troll, lives under a castle bridge with her brother, Victroll. While he is happy to demand a toll from all carriages passing overhead and act trollike in general, Trollerella longs to be beautiful. After an astray invitation ends up in her green hands, Trollerella gets the Tooth Fairy to kit her out for the ball. The bewitched Prince Charming thinks she is beautiful, and is smitten. Trollerella has to dash at midnight (as does Cinderella, also present), but leaves behind one of her giant glass slippers. As per usual, the prince sends his men out to find the lovely maiden he danced with. By this time the enchantment has worn off, and Trollerella is back to her green and slimy self. The Tooth Fairy agrees to cast another spell--this time the prince, and only the prince, sees her as an enchanting beauty. Trollerella and Prince Charming live happily ever after, and Cinderella moves to the big city to "start her own cleaning business." The animated, funny illustrations go well with the text and could almost tell the story on their own. Some of the jokes will go over the heads of the kids being read to, but that is okay. Kids who are not familiar with Cinderella will not get as much pleasure from this as kids who are, but it still could be a good story. 2006, Holiday House, $14.95. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Sara Lorimer (Children's Literature).
Walt Disney's Cinderella
Retold by Cynthia Rylant
Pictures by Mary Blair
This is a glorious picture book, well made, with heft and presence. It's the kind of book you might buy for a special child on your list or for the library's fairy tale collection, or even for your coffee table to read over and over again. Even though Mary Blair worked as a designer for over thirty years with the company, there's not a dressed-up Disney mouse or bluebird in sight. The pictures chosen for this book, from her concepts for the 1950 animated film, are muted, with minimal color, and may appear old-fashioned to today's young readers more accustomed to princess glitter. But the illustrations are dramatic and rich, perfect for Cynthia Rylant's telling of the familiar story. This new Cinderella is a breathtaking version that literally makes you stop to read passages again and again. When a fairy godmother appears, she assures the young and lonely girl that "Tears have a wondrous magic about them. They often change everything." Now Cinderella is "an orphan no more." What child won't feel comforted by the words that tears can change everything. Of course, in the end, the duke shows up with the glass slipper and the prince and Cinderella live happily in the palace, but this book is so much more than the fairytale story. Some may choose to use it as an outstanding example of good book design. Students of the art of Mary Blair will treasure it, as will the many fans of the author's. Cynthia Rylant writes that, after all, this story is about love--a perfect sentiment to share with children. 2007, Disney Press, Ages 4 to 8, $16.99. Reviewer: Augusta Scattergood
The Youngest Fairy Godmother Ever
by Stephen Krensky
Illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal
Mavis dreams of becoming a fairy godmother because she wants to make wishes come true. Despite all her practice with magic wands, costumes, mice, secrets and learning to blend into the background, things do not go the way she imagines. She eventually finds the perfect person to help. Her classmate happens to have two very beautifully dressed stepsisters but no dress to wear to the party. This modern twist on the Cinderella tale is filled with humor and a magical twinkle of friendship. The result is not quite the way the original turned out but that is half the fun. The illustrations by Bluthenthal fit the story perfectly with the same lighthearted humor. 2000, Simon & Schuster, $16.00. Ages 4 to 6. Reviewer: Sally J. K. Davies (Children's Literature).
Standards of Learning Information
Project Stars: K-5 Children's Literature and Correlation of the Virginia Standards of Learning, Winter 2002, 1995; Grade 1 Objective 7; Grade 2 Objective 9; Virginia-English-Reading/Literature; Virginia Department of Education
Project Stars: K-5 Children's Literature and Correlation of the Virginia Standards of Learning, Winter 2002, 1995; Grade 1 Objective 7; Grade 2 Objective 9; Virginia-English-Writing; Virginia Department of Education
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