Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Imprint: Bonneville Books
Publication Date: 11/8/2011
ISBN: 9781599559063

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've always loved 'fractured' fairy tales, so I was immediately drawn to this title! From the title you would expect a retold Cinderella story, and while this draws elements from Cinderella, it is entirely a new story. There is a prince, but he is evil. Instead of a cruel stepmother and 2 cruel stepsisters, there is a family consisting of a mother, a father, and four sisters; Katrina and Beatrice, and the 2 middle daughters, Cinder and Ella. They are a happy, normal family, until the prince calls on the father. Things become strange after that, and the father disappears. Katrina turns into a selfish me-first person, and Beatrice becomes needy. The mother, in her grief, or perhaps he need to support her daughters, becomes obsessed with spinning yarn. Cinder is selfless, waiting on the others, and poor Ella is ignored. Her mother even forgets she HAS a 4th daughter, referred to the middle daughter as Cinderella!

This story can be read on so many levels. At a basic level, it is a fun fairy tale and even reads like a fairy tale, using a similar tone. But if you go deeper, it can be used to illustrate any number of lessons. There is the lesson of naivity and trusting the wrong person (the father and Cinder). There is the lesson that your choices have consequences (the father). There is the lesson that your bad choices can have negative consequences on those around you (again, the father). There is the lesson that good overcomes evil, and even the lesson that a benevolent king is watching everything and can step in to set things right when things get to out of hand. This was a quick, fun read and I recommend it for lovers of fairy tales and fables!

This book was provided to me by in return for an honest review.

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  1. I love fractured fairytales too so this one looks like it may be down my alley!

  2. I also like fractured fairy tales. My favorite are the ones of Gregory Maguire.