Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Robert D. San Souci
Illustrator: David Catrow
Publisher: Silver Whistle
It's another Cinderella story! Only this one has a spooky Halloween twist to the familiar fairy-tale. Everything is very familiar with just a slight ghoulish twist. Cinderella does all the work for her stepsisters and stepmother, but her chores are a little different from the living version of the story. She hangs the cobwebs, litters the floor, and feeds the bats all by herself whilst the others watch and treat her badly. When she asks for the good fairy's help to attend the ball, she receives a lovely hearse rather than a beautiful carriage. And when this bedraggled bag of bones runs from the dance, it is her severed tibia that she leaves behind, not just her lovely slipper! The handsome prince is more alarming than charming, but when he finds the match to his ankle bone it is still love most true that ends with a happy after-life-ever-more.
This is a great book that is hard to stick with as the rhymes became a challenge. The rhymes are clever and well worded but just too text heavy and complicated for young readers to endure and appreciate. The illustrations are colorful, clever, creepy and creative. This is a marvelous book for pre-Halloween page flipping with or without the text. A positive feature of the twisted text is that it follows a Poe-esque paradigm for the metered rhyme that is very like "The Raven." Halloween adoring adults will enjoy all aspects of this book. When reading to younger readers, this book could easily be adapted to follow the story with an abbreviated version of the rhyme or told in simple less poetic words.