I have a confession to make. When it comes to recommending books to people, I tend to gravitate towards the same books or types of stories. If you've ever asked me for a recommendation, I've either talked to you about superheroes, unlikely warriors, or mysteries. Beyond those categories, I have another great literary love: Cinderella. You can keep your smaller than average mermaids, napping princesses, and those who like their princes on the beastly side. I've had quite enough, thank you. As SOON as you tell me something is a retelling or reimagining of my best gal Cinderella, I'm there. As we swiftly approach the summer reading program, Tails and Tales, I thought now was as good a time as ever to talk about re-imaginings of one of my favorite tales.
While one might assume that my fascination with Cinderella came from the 1950 Disney film, I think it came from somewhere else entirely. I've read countless books and listened to thousands of hours of audiobooks and nothing sticks in my mind quite like Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Maybe it's just the nostalgia talking, but there's something about this retelling that I find, pun intended, enchanting. Gail Carson Levine manages to build the world and atmosphere quickly without large swaths of exposition. Ella is a fascinating character who manages to be loving and witty in spite of her dire and often upsetting circumstances. It has more in common with the film Ever After than it does with it's own film adaptation. (We don't talk about the Ella Enchanted movie.) If you haven't read this book, I can't recommend it enough. If you're an audiobook person, all the better. The audiobook is a staple of my childhood and was promptly checked out from my childhood hometown library any time my family had to drive anywhere farther than an hour away.
Cinderella retellings come in all shapes and sizes, and this picture book is no exception. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood is a great fit for reading by yourself, storytime, or as a bedtime story to be read over and over again. This Cinderella is a brilliant mechanic in a world that's taken to the stars. When the prince's ship has engine trouble, Cinderella steps in to save the day. This book is a gem. It's fun to read, it's fun to look at, it's fun to read again after you've read it the first time. If you're looking for your next bedtime story, check out Interstellar Cinderella, or Deborah Underwood's newer book Reading Beauty.
Looking for a retelling for a beginner reader but you're afraid to bark up the wrong tree? Never fear,Dogerella is the book for you and your kiddo. Dogerella is a super silly retelling of the classic fairytale that kids will love. Princess Bea is looking for a pup of her very own so she invites all the dogs in the land to a royal ball. Can Dogerella's Fairy Dogmother get her ready for the ball? Will Princess Bea find a new puppy pal? You'll have to read it to find out.
From dogs to curses to fairies and everything in between, there's so much you can do with a Cinderella retelling. What are your favorite fairytale retellings?