cover image Cinderella Liberator

Cinderella Liberator

Rebecca Solnit, illus. by Arthur Rackham. Haymarket, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-608-46596-5

In this progressive retelling, Solnit carefully excises nearly every aspect of the “Cinderella” tale that readers might find objectionable. No one falls in love, the prince wishes he was a farmer, and the stepsisters eventually apologize to Cinderella, who herself says, “It was very interesting to see all the fancy clothes... but even more interesting to see lizards become footwomen.” Every possible moral lesson is explicitly spelled out—“everyone can be a fairy godmother if they help someone who needs help, and anyone can be a wicked stepmother”—and the low-key action, which resolves in everyone finding the work that suits them, supports the idea that “there is no happily ever after, only... tomorrow... and the day after that.” Illustrations based on Rackham’s masterful, timeless silhouettes offer a counterpoint to a text that is very much of the moment. Ages 7–10. [em](May) [/em]