cover image Prince Ciders

Prince Ciders

Babette Cole. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21502-5

Take a classic story, substitute a few key ingredients, season freely with silliness and imagination, dress it all up in jaunty illustrations, and what have you got? In the case of Cole's Prince Cinders, an outrageously funny romp of a picture book. Prince Cinders is a spotty, skinny fellow who envies his brothers' brawn and hairiness. Left behind to do the laundry while they zoom off to the Palace Disco, he is visited one evening by a fairy who seeks to grant his wishes. Trouble is, the fairy hasn't quite gotten the knack of spell-casting and ""big and hairy'' translates into an oversized ape. Blissfully unaware of the slip-up, Prince Cinders heads off in his new incarnation to the Rock 'n' Royal Bash to claim his princessa conventional end he achieves through most unconventional means. A madcap, highly entertaining spoof. Ages 5-8. (March)