cover image Cinderella


Sarah L. Thomson, illus. by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Amazon Children's Publishing, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7614-6170-8

In an introductory note, Thomson (Pirates, Ho!) explains that her version of this fairy tale is based primarily on that of Charles Perrault rather than on the Brothers Grimm adaptation. Accordingly, Ceccoli's (A Dignity of Dragons) digitally enhanced acrylic art evokes the fashions and hairstyles of Perrault's 17th-century France, while maintaining the dreamy, placid quality of the illustrator's earlier work. The gossamer illustrations depict both Cinderella and the prince as considerably younger than many interpretations, giving her an eerie, doll-like fragility and premature sophistication reminiscent of contemporary child beauty queens. The pale blonde heroine maintains a stony countenance throughout, %E2%80%A8revealing little joy or wonder after her metamorphosis by her fairy godmother, when the prince slips the glass slipper %E2%80%A8on her foot, and on their wedding day. Thomson's assured narrative underscores the idea that inner beauty is even more important than outward transformations ("You are dressed like a queen!" Cinder-ella's fairy godmother tells her. "Behave like one as well. Be kind and courteous to all you meet"), yet the emotionally subdued art and text make this a fairly low-key retelling. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (Sept.)