Monday, October 31, 2016

Mini Reviews: Cinderella Part 1--Halloween Children's Stories

Since I am currently working on getting my teaching credential, I am not only reading a bunch of textbooks and articles, but many children's books as well. We started a new unit in our language arts, where students get to learn the elements of a fairy tale. The unit began with a modern retelling of Cinderella. So I decided to read a few variations of this classic tale. Let's begin with the Halloween themed ones:

Book #1

CinderHazel: The Cinderella of Halloween by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

This was a quirky book set in a world of witches. Cinderella loves to be dirty. In fact, the more dirt there was, the better her life was. Cinderella lived with her two snobby stepsisters and stepmother. Her stepfamily was constantly on CinderHazel's case on how "disgusting" she was. Then one night it was the Witches' Halloween Ball and everyone went except, CinderHazel, to meet the prince who came out of hiding. CinderHazel does not care about going to the ball...or does she?

I can't say this was my favorite book. The images were a little weird looking for me, but I do have to appreciate the work that was put into it. The illustrations perfectly captured the world of CinderHazel and set the tone of uncleanliness that our heroine adored. The story was cute and silly, and I can definitely see how some kids may enjoy reading this. I give it 3.5 stars.

Book #2

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci, Illustrated by David Catrow

In this retelling of the classic story, Cinderella takes place in the afterlife. The story is told through verse and very colorful illustrations. Cinderella lives in a mausoleum with her two scornful stepsisters and a screeching stepmother. Poor Cinderella does not get a break for her family works her to the bone, no pun intended. Then one night, the prince summoned everyone to the famous Halloween Ball. And of course, Cinderella was not allowed to go. 

This one stays as close to the original story but with a few twists here and there. 
What I loved about this book was the illustrations! The story was told in a poetic manner but I could not help but stare at the wonderful artwork. There was so many details and colors to help set the tone of the story and capture each of the character's personalities. It almost gave me the feeling of a Tim Burton story. I am not sure if the little ones might appreciate this book as much, but the older kids will definitely enjoy it! I give it 4 stars!

So what do you think of these retellings? Will you give them a try?

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