Monday, April 30, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Cinderella

Today’s pick:  Cinderella (As If You Didn’t Already Know the Story) by Barbara Ensor
Random House, 2006

From Amazon:
I know, I know. You’ve heard the story a million times before. Mean stepmother. Lots of sweeping. Fancy ball. You remember. Or do you? Did you remember that Cinderella was such a nice girl—so smart and funny? You probably would’ve liked her. Did you know that “Cinderella” was just a nickname? And that her handsome prince loved Jell-o and was a wonderful dancer?

Readers will delight in following Cinderella through all the usual happenings, presented in a most unusual way. And they’ll finally see what becomes of her after she marries the prince. So maybe you should hear the story one last time. Because it’s actually way different than you might have thought. . . .

Kids who have outgrown picture books and are ready for something longer—but still love illustrated texts—will gravitate toward this Cinderella, which was an IRA-CBC Children's Choice selection. Black-and-white silhouettes of everything from the ugly stepsisters to Cinderella’s slipper (actual size) are intermingled with Cinderella’s letters to her recently deceased mother in this totally original package. And don't miss the companion book to this fairy-tale reboot: Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride.

My Take: 
This retelling of the traditional Cinderella story was fun to read. I agree with the cover which calls it “a quick read for smart girls”. I enjoyed the letters to Cinderella’s (dead) mother and the silhouette illustrations that broke up the text. The story doesn’t differ much from the traditional version, although there are some modern elements. What makes it stand out is author’s voice. I’d recommend this as a younger middle grade read, though it’s fun for any age. Because it’s short and illustrated, it would be a good choice for a reluctant reader, too.

Other Info:
Barbara Ensor is an author and artist. She created the cut paper illustrations for her story.

On her blog she says, “Everything in my books is kind of like a sandwich between something I completely know and something I have completely made up.”

Other books by this author include:
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride

For more, check out Barbara Ensor’s website.

Looking for more MMGM? Check out these links:

  • Joanne Fritz
  • Shannon Messenger
  • Shannon O'Donnell
  • Myrna Foster
  • Ally Beecher
  • Barbara Watson
  • Deb Marshall
  • Anita Laydon Miller's Middle Grade Blog
  • Middle Grade Mafioso
  • Literary Rambles
  • Ms. Yingling Reads
  • Jennifer Rumberger
  • Pam Torres
  • The Accidental Novelist
  • G.S. Prendergast
  • Gina Carey
  • Laurisa White Reyes
  • Marshall and Emiline
  • Dorine White
  • Temre Beltz

    1. I never heard about it. Different takes on fairy tales are fun. Thanks for sharing this one.

    2. I've never hear of it either, but it sounds like a good one for my daughter. Thanks for sharing. :D

    3. sounds terrifically silly - my prince charming loves jello too! thanks for posting, and i just added you to my MMGM list :)

    4. This sounds really fun! It calls to mind a book a read years ago with my daughter that had several versions of Rumplestiltskin in it - I can't remember the title but it was terrific!

      1. Oh, this sounds like such a fun idea, Susanna. I'll have to see if I can track it down.

    5. I just noticed this book on the shelf at the bookstore the other day. Didn't realize it was so funny! Thanks, Andrea.

    6. I read this a long time ago and thought is was clever and cute.

      1. It's funny how there are so many Cinderella stories out there, but I never really get tired of reading them.


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