cover image Cinderella


Charles Perrault, Susan Jeffers, Amy Ehrlich. Dial Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0205-9

Long before Gutenberg and since his time, storytellers have enjoyed the privilege of adapting, retelling tales rooted in widely different cultures. Perrault's ""Cinderella,'' for example, was an established heroine in folklore around the world, centuries before the French writer wrote about the abused maiden. Ehrlich's retelling differs from others' but it's absorbing, easily grasped and no less rewarding than the many versions available, except in one instance. There is no mention of the mean stepmother after Ehrlich introduces her. Gazing at the beautiful, ingenious, color-rich paintings, one forgets such quibbles. The illustrations display Jeffers's gifts at their dazzling best, particularly when she shows the noble steeds prancing and tossing their heads as they carry Cinderella to the ball. The author and the artist have been praised for their previous adaptations of classic tales, but this surpasses them all. (48)