In preparation for Fairy Tale Friday, I have been reading versions of Cinderella from various cultures. I am making careful notes in my study. I was hoping to complete it in time for this week's post, but I don’t want to rush it. The post will have to wait one more week. Instead, I am sharing two of my favorite picture book retellings of Cinderella. If you have a fairy tale post this week, add a link in the comments.
Cinderella (illustrated by K.Y. Craft):
The text is adapted from The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book (1923) and Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book (1889). The story follows the familiar plot line: Father remarries and dies shortly after. The stepmother and her two daughters treat Cinderella like a slave while they live lavishly. Like the movie Ever After though, Cinderella actually meets the prince prior to the ball. He sees her in the woods and becomes enamored with her beauty. She is helping an injured bird, but quickly (and ashamedly) excuses herself and runs off. After the step –sisters leave for the ball, the bird Cinderella helped turns into a beautiful fairy. Like the Disney movie, the fairy turns a pumpkin, mice, rats, and lizards into the servants, horses, and coachmen. There are two nights of dancing before Cinderella loses her glass slipper. The prince scourers the kingdom until he finds her. After they marry, they are renowned as “the fairest and kindest rulers the people had ever known.” With only a few changes, this version follows the most commonly known one in America: Disney’s. The breath-taking illustrations in Craft's picture book make it stand out! Craft states, “The illustrations for this story depict an imaginary setting around the time of Voltaire, who lived in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France.” Most of the layouts have a full-paged framed picture on one side and the text on the other. To highlight pivotal plot details, occasion two-page spreads are used. I am a huge fan of Craft's soft coloring and intricate details which give the pictures a magical-essence. Her style beautifully compliments fairy tale retellings. If you (or a little one in your home) are a fan of Cinderella tale, you MUST check this one out!
Cinderella (by Amy Ehrlich, illustrated by Susan Jeffers):
Ehrlich uses the Charles Perrault version which has many similarities to the accounts Craft utilized. Interestingly, in this one the father does not die, but rather, he is ruled by his new wife entirely. As a result, Cinderella does not ever complain to him. There is no pre-ball meeting between her and the prince. Her godmother, a fairy, visits her after everyone has left for the ball. She uses magic to transform objects into all that Cinderella needs for a memorable arrival at the palace. While at the ball, Cinderella shows her good-nature by sharing a special treat with her sisters. At the end, the two sisters beg for forgiveness. Not only does she forgive them, but she also gives them a place in the palace. I adore Jeffers' illustrations which use fine-lines and delicate colors. Like Craft, she uses the eighteenth-century attire and setting as her inspiration. Her life-like expressions and details spill over to make two-page spreads that envelop and energize the narrative, making this book a must-read!
What is your favorite version of Cinderella? Please share in the comments, which enters you in the Fairy Tale Friday July Giveaway.