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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story)* by Barbara Ensor - young readers book review

Also by Barbara Ensor:

Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride

Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story)
by Barbara Ensor
Ages 9-12 128 pages Schwartz & Wade June 2006 Hardcover    

Poor Cinderella finds herself living with her not-so-nice step mom and stepsisters; that much hasn’t changed. Her fairy godmother still comes to her rescue on the night of the ball. Her shoe still falls off while fleeing the dance, and the prince still goes in search of the foot that fits that shoe. Cinderella does accept the prince’s proposal and they do marry. But this Cinderella story is a little different: What happens after the marriage? Why do the married couple move from the castle, and what will become of Cinderella’s step-mom?

This book is fun to read and touching, too. Cinderella writes letters to her mom, always signing off with the name Cupcake. Cinderella’s letters are filled with news, updates, drawings, doodles, and emotion. Her mom has died, but this is Cinderella's way to be with her - and she has a lot to update her mom on. Her dad has gotten remarried, and now Cinderella has to live with her new step-mom and two stepsisters. She reveals to her mom what it’s really like to live with these new family members. She also writes to her mom before and after the ball; the ball where she meets, dances, and falls is love with the prince.

This is just one of the differences in Barbara Ensor’s spin on the Cinderella story. Other details also make the story unique. Cinderella’s dad is an accountant; the shoes she wears to the ball are not made of glass; the fairy godmother uses lizards on the night of the prince’s ball, and the story continues on after the And They Lived Happily Ever After. Cinderella’s mom would be proud of everything Cinderella has accomplished. A little more of the prince is revealed in this story, too: his favorite foods, his dance secret, and how he, too, changes after marriage.

The whole design of this book is eye-catching. A bright, pumpkin orange cover which displays a glossy pinkish, purplish high-heeled shoe makes a fitting introduction to what is inside - a unique, creative story. Barbara Ensor, who is also the artist, has drawn the interior illustrations as black shadows. The handwritten letters to Cinderella’s mom are shown, mistakes crossed out and all. In some instances, the main text of the story is typed to slant. Sometimes when a character speaks, their shadow is shown, and the text comes slantwise out of their mouths.

Cinderella’s step-mom might not be too happy with the new arrangements after Cinderella’s wedding. However, thanks to Cinderella's generous and kind heart, I think the animals will be living the happiest ever after in this version of Cinderella. Or maybe the luckiest ever after.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Tanya Boudreau/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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