CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 20 . . . .May 25, 2007
Michèle Marineau's modern-day retelling of the story of Cinderella is an enjoyable addition to the large and varied collection of Cinderella stories for young children. Given a modern, urban setting, there is enough that is innovative and vibrant about Marineau's writing and Mylène Pratt's artwork to breathe fresh life into this traditional fairy tale. At the same time, however, Marineau and Pratt have been careful not to stray so far from the original as to make their story unrecognizable.
In the book's rear cover blurb, Cinderella is billed as "a Cinderella story for today's kids." So it is, although the majority of the "modernization" comes through Pratt's humorous paintings. In one illustration, Cinderella and her father play "fetch" with their dog in the shadows of high-rise buildings and out the front of a mechanic working on a car in a garage called "Toto's Repairs." The funniest of all of the illustrations is the one depicting the lineup of hopeful women waiting to try on the lost shoe. One budding princess has a child at her feet and the suggestion of another child in her stomach. And the woman in front of her in the queue bears more than just a little resemblance to a Nun. One woman is impatiently looking at her watch. She obviously has things to do, just in case this whole princess thing should fall through. Another woman is yawning and, further back in the line, I'm convinced that woman is a man! Another potential bride is bent low over a walking stick, surely old enough to be the charming prince's grandmother.
Gregory Bryan teaches children's literature In the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
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