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Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story) [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Ensor
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.12
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

I know, I know. You’ve heard the story a million times before. Mean stepmother. Lots of sweeping. Fancy ball. You remember. Or do you? Did you remember that Cinderella was such a nice girl—so smart and funny? You probably would’ve liked her. Did you know that “Cinderella” was just a nickname? And that her handsome prince loved Jell-o and was a wonderful dancer?

Readers will delight in following Cinderella through all the usual happenings, presented in a most unusual way. And they’ll finally see what becomes of her after she marries the prince. So maybe you should hear the story one last time. Because it’s actually way different than you might have thought. . . .

Kids who have outgrown picture books and are ready for something longer—but still love illustrated texts—will gravitate toward this Cinderella, which was an IRA-CBC Children's Choice selection. Black-and-white silhouettes of everything from the ugly stepsisters to Cinderella’s slipper (actual size) are intermingled with Cinderella’s letters to her recently deceased mother in this totally original package. And don't miss the companion book to this fairy-tale reboot: Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6–This lightweight retelling of the classic fairy tale will please girls who like undemanding and familiar stories with a twist. In this version, Cinderella writes letters to her dead mama complaining about her evil stepmother and attractive but mean-spirited older stepsisters. She spends her days cleaning, cooking, sewing, and generally feeling miserable and put-upon even though she tries to be nice and accommodating. Readers know how it all ends, and Ensor recounts it dutifully, but adds what happens after the curtain traditionally falls on the story. The two work hard on their marriage, since they barely know one another, and eventually the prince becomes a king and a singer while Cinderella finds the other side of herself–as a talented diplomat fully capable of improving their country and the world all around them. Black-and-white silhouettes are positioned throughout the text but don't add much to the story.–Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Barbara Ensor has written for New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Family Life, The Village Voice, and numerous other publications and Web sites. Her illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, Self, Child and elsewhere. This is her first children’s book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4528 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (August 31, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4EBY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,659 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars original retelling of a beloved classic June 23, 2006
"Cinderella" is one of the most popular of fairy stories. It has been not only translated into about every language, it has also been modified for our diverse cultures and times. Barbara Ensor's CINDERELLA is a fun little version that is decidedly for contemporary readers. In this version Cinderella tells her story through a series of letters to her dead mother. The letters are sweet, poignant and often funny as she unburdens her heart. When she writes the letter telling of her father's remarriage, she ends with:

P.P.S. Don't worry about writing back, I don't expect miracles or anything. (We don't believe in them,) or do we?

Of course, this is a story that abounds with miracles. There are fairy godmothers, magic slippers, pumpkins turning into carriages, and all the usual magic of the traditional fairy tale. With several clever twists, however, Cinderella falls in love with a prince who is terribly spoiled and is put out when his parents aren't as concerned about finding the girl who fits the shoe and instead choose to go on a golf outing. The stepsisters are as conceited as ever, but not really as ugly as we have been led to believe:

The truth is, they were nice enough to look at, maybe not as pretty as you or Cinderella, but certainly not ugly. All right, some of what they said was ugly, yes, I agree...

So this is the book that lets us know what actually happens to everyone. Did they really just live "happily ever after?" There are some surprises here. The nasty stepsisters have to move out so Cinderella and the prince can provide a sanctuary for wild animals. Cinderella's father and stepmother are given royal dispensation and allowed to stay in the castle (provided the stepmother works double shifts on the cleaning staff).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn off the Nintendo and get out your Cinderella March 26, 2007
Grandmother alert! This is the perfect book to give to your [...]granddaughter; and if you're really smart, you'll throw in a sheaf of black paper and a pair of sharpened scissors.

The tale of Cinderella has been retold many times (my own version, written for adults, is called The Fool's Path: A Tale from the Lothemian Legacy) but, surely, never before has a retelling been written that will appeal to modern pre-teens as much this one. Ensor's Cinderella is a pony-tailed heroine who dwells in a timeless world filled with castles and wallpaper, patent leather shoes and armor, pageantry, peasantry, and golf. The prince may be charming, but not as charming as the silhouettes that illuminate the pages, adding texture and depth to the story. What a delight!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable July 9, 2006
This retelling of the Cinderella story offers the reader the traditional story, though slightly updated. Cinderella shares her worries and concerns about her life in letters to her deceased mother. Her father has remarried (but does not die) and her new stepmother and stepsisters are just as unpleasant as in the traditional story. Cinderella's letters to her mother are heartfelt with amusing edits so we know what she is really thinking. The silhouette cutout illustrations added a touch of whimsey and quirkiness to the story that I enjoyed.

The book was a pleasant read and offers young people the comfort of an enjoyable, familiar and very readable story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the world - really! June 20, 2006
A Kid's Review
The book expresses all of Cinderella's feelings, unlike the Disney version. When Cinderella writes a note it's sort of sloppy handwriting - but at the end it's elegant and beautiful. If I could, since it is summer vacation right now, I would tell all of my friends that it is the best book in the world.

By Helena
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for my daughter- I loved it myself. July 21, 2006
I bought this book as a read aloud for my six year old and yes, she loved it. The illustrations and hand written notes from Cinderella to her dead mother added a degree of postmodern hilarity perfect for a smart nine to twelve year old and for me as well. This book makes a great gift.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly funny, endearing June 20, 2006
Reading as an adult this version of the Cinderella fable is rewarding in a number of ways. Its exploration of Cinderella's feelings is new and intriguing. The illustrations and writing by Ms. Ensor are invariably right on, always funny, sometimes hilarious. This is reading as pure pleasure!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nail on the head!!!! December 11, 2011
In this watershed of a literary debut, Ensor manages to craft a fun and corky account of a classic tale.
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More About the Author

Barbara Ensor isn't looking at you in this photograph because she wouldn't actually be able to see you anyway and this way you can see what her silhouette looks like. (Since after all she is always making silhouettes of other things.) Barbara Ensor did many daring things in her life, like walk on stilts, but she never dared to write a children's book until she was fifty years old. After that she knew she wanted to write many more books for children (and maybe adults as well) and to make the pictures to go with them so she had better hurry up. Press the button on her website, and tell her to write another book right away.

To prepare for being an author and artist Barbara Ensor did many many things. She listened carefully to the stories her mother and father told her. In due course she began to tell her own stories (not all of them true) as a mother, as a puppeteer, an illustrator, a clay animation teacher, and a journalist. Barbara Ensor grew up mostly in London England where she figured out how to make pictures with whatever was around. Her two children, who are now taller than her, taught her most of what is most important to know. Barbara Ensor lives in Brooklyn, New York where an awful lot of people turn into authors and artists for reasons nobody knows for sure.

Barbara Ensor doesn't believe in fairy tales, but she lives happily ever after, and hopes you do too.

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