- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: AD610L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (September 24, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0688162959
- ISBN-13: 978-0688162955
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cinder Edna Paperback – September 24, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Instead of glass slippers, Cinderella's neighbor Cinder Edna wears comfortable penny loafers to the ball, where she falls in love with the prince's goofy, tender-hearted younger brother. "Full of kid-pleasing jokes," said PW. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-This clever, double story follows the fates of two young women. Readers know Cinderella, who works all day, sits in the cinders, and needs her fairy godmother to get the ball moving. But Cinder Edna next door has used her spare time to learn 16 different ways to make tuna casserole and to play the accordian. She earns money by cleaning out parrot cages and mowing lawns, and can she tell jokes. When the dance is announced, she dons the dress she bought on layaway, takes the bus to the ball, and wears loafers for dancing. She wins the attention of Prince Randolph's younger but dorky brother, Rupert, who loves to dance and tell jokes, and runs the palace recycling plant. Both women dash off at the stroke of midnight. The two princes' plans for finding the owners of the lost glass slipper and the beat-up loafer are a hilarious contrast. Ella ends up, of course, with the vain, boorish Randolph. Edna moves into a solar-heated cottage, caring for orphaned kittens and playing duets with her husband Rupert. O'Malley's full-page, full-color illustrations are exuberant and funny. Ella is suitably bubble-headed and self-absorbed while Edna is plain, practical, and bound to enjoy life. Kids will love this version of the familiar story for its humor and vibrant artwork. Buy two copies-one to circulate and the other to hoard for story hours.
Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top customer reviews
In it we meet Cinderella and Cinder Edna, who are juxtaposed against each other. Cinder Edna is plain, smart, funny, determined, and upbeat, a real "pull herself up by her bootstraps" kind of girl. Cinderella is pretty, one dimensional, helpless, and vapid. Both are worked hard by their wicked stepmother and sisters, but where Cinderella sits and feels sorry for herself, Cinder Edna makes the most of a bad situation and learns skills from her drudgery. Both want to attend the ball. Cinderella is helpless and needs a fairy godmother to come up with her attire and transportation, and when she arrives at the ball she relies on her good looks, which is the only thing her doltish and vain prince notices about her. Cinder Edna, who is practical and independent, has a dress on layaway and takes the bus. At the ball she meets a male version of herself who is nerdy and interesting. Long story short, only one lives happily ever after.
In attempting to subvert the usual message we see in princess stories that "beauty=good" when it comes to women, the author has inadvertently reinforced another stereotype that's nearly as damaging: "beauty=dumb bimbo." In other words, women who conform to feminine gender expression must be shallow and idiotic, and funny girls are conversely plain.
I was also distressed by the negative portrait painted of Cinderella's reaction to her abusive family -- essentially she just sat around in cinders feeling sorry for herself, whereas Cinder Edna smiled through it and found ways to better herself. On the surface this may seem like a good lesson, until you consider that this reinforces a "blame the victim" mentality In this world view, victims of familial abuse should just suck it up and smile through it, and if they experience depression or a sense of helplessness or need help getting their lives together (from a fairy godmother, perhaps), then that's simply because they are weak and pouty, like this Cinderella. This could have been easily remedied had they depicted Edna's own struggle with these issues. The book was already wordy as it was, it could have stood a few more sentences for the sake of making that point.
All in all, I think the beauty standards and gender roles this book tries to undo are almost completely undermined by the fact that it trips over itself backward into the mirror opposite trap.
Though this story is much better and more thought provoking than the original, the message is still a little much like a traditional fairy tale for me. Cinderella is still helpless and effortlessly made over by a fairy godmother who provides the slippers, fancy dress and all (which is unintentionally charming to my daughter) and Cinder Edna is pretty average. The real kicker is that the author makes of point of mentioning that Cinderella is beautiful and Edna is less than pretty. Isn't that still reinforcing modern, western beauty standards? Isn't that still reinforcing the importance of physical beauty period? Isn't that still saying that if you do nothing and feel sorry for yourself you might just be blessed by a fairy godmother? That was not quite the message I was hoping for.
Also, in the end both girls still are "rescued" by the princes. Ultimately Cinderella is bored with her vain prince and Cinder Edna is happy with her down-to-earth prince with whom she tells jokes and shares common interests but there is still a "thank god I'm rescued/happily ever after" feeling to the end.
Don't get me wrong; Cinder Edna is awesome. She is smart, resourceful, hard-working and fun and Cinderella ends up miserable and bored. However, I think the message falls a bit short of on-target.
Much better than the original and worth adding to your bookshelf if your child is emotionally and cognitively ready and able to talk through the meaning.
Cinder Edna needs to be read often to a little girl until she is able to read it to herself. It is teaches life lessons in an amusing way. All little girls should be as clever and resourceful as Cinder Edna. All little girls need to learn they don't have to rely on a man for security and happiness, but like Cinder Edna, it's oh so nice when the right man comes along who compliments her strengths.