cover image Alison and the Prince

Alison and the Prince

Dyan Sheldon. Oxford University Press, USA, $10.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-19-520643-2

In this modern variation of the Cinderella story, Alison is a disheveled, untidy girlqualities cited by her aunt and cousins when they won't let her attend the Prince's ball. The housekeeper makes her a dress, other friends provide jewelry and a cab ride, and Alison arrives at the ball looking like an actress or pop star. Just as she had dreamed, the Prince is captivated by her. However, she had not foreseen that he would prove an insufferable bore, interested in nothing but himself. At midnight, aware that her taxi is waiting, Alison makes a hasty exit, having left behind nothing that will enable the hapless Prince to trace her. Cusack's jaunty, loose illustration supply some visual humor. Otherwise, this is a lackluster work, constructed around a single gagthe Prince's ultimate undesirabilitythat is too slight to sustain satisfying humor. Babette Cole's Prince Cinders provides a funnier, more imaginative spoof. No ages given. (May)