My Rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Fairy Tale
Cinderella is the classic fairy tale of a lowly servant girl who is magically transformed into a stunning princess through the help of her Fairy God Mother, just in time for the palace ball. Cinderella was originally forbidden to attend the ball by her evil step mother, and had to watch sadly as her evil step sisters got dressed up and left her alone to clean the house. Brought on by Cinderella's tears, her Fairy Godmother appears and magically provides Cinderella with all that she needs to attend the ball, with the warning that she had to return home by the stroke of midnight because the magic spell would break and everything would return to normal. In her haste to return home before midnight, Cinderella loses her glass slipper which the Prince promptly retrieves and uses to find his true love. He finds Cinderella and they marry, living happily ever after.
Cinderella is character whom students can look up to and admire as someone who is true to they are, no matter what the circumstances are. Cinderella treats everyone with kindness and understanding, no matter how mean and nasty they are. The tale is an obvious choice when introducing the genre of fairy tale to elementary age students. I liked this particular retelling because stays true to the original tale and the illustrations are beautiful and bring the story to life making it a perfect version to read aloud to students.
Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by David Catrow
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Fractured Fairy Tale
Cinderella Skeleton is virtually the same classic Cinderella story, only it is told in rhyme and from the point of view of a skeleton! The setting is vastly different in that it takes place in a decrepit graveyard, Boneyard Acres. Cinderella Skeleton faces the same woes as the original Cinderella; a servant girl living with an evil step mother and step sisters whose only wish is to go the ball. However, in this tale, the Fairy Godmother doesn't go to Cinderella Skeleton, Cinderella Skeleton seeks her out - and she isn't a fairy, she's a witch. The events following are the same as the original Cinderella story, except when she flees from the ball, the prince catches her by the foot and pulls her whole foot off, and not just the slipper! Prince Charnel makes the same vow that the original prince makes, and searches everywhere for the skeleton whose ankle would fit the slippered foot. Prince Charnel eventually makes it to Cinderella Skeleton's mausoleum and finds that the foot belongs to her! Prince Charnel and Cinderella Skeleton live happily ever after, and her three step sisters shriveled with envy and shrank to dust.
Cinderella Skeleton sends the same message as the original Cinderella, however, it is slightly hidden behind graveyards and skeletons. I recommend sharing this version with students for several reasons. First, it is a wonderful piece to show children how the same fairy tale can be retold in different ways and still contain the original elements of the traditional tale. This story can be used with older students as a basis for a writing assignment; students can write their own fractured fairy tale after a comparison and contrast activity with this book. The haunting illustrations make this a great read aloud, especially around Halloween! Overall, one of the better alternate versions of Cinderella that will appeal to boys and girls alike.