Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Retold by the award-winning author Beverley Naidoo, this latest Cinderella edition is based on the earliest-known version of Cinderella. Rhodopis is a Greek girl who is sold into slavery by bandits and taken to Egypt. Along the way she becomes friends with the storyteller Aesop and a host of playful animals. Her master gives her a pair of beautiful rose-red slippers, making three other servants jealous. But when Horus, the falcon, sweeps in to steal her slipper, she has no idea that this act will lead her to the King of Egypt and a future of happiness. The illustrations are colorful yet subdued, simple yet very detailed and they complement the familiar storyline.
This version has the Cinderella character enslaved because of her physical beauty. She is sad but strong in her ability to survive her situation with grace. She learns from her friend, the story teller Aesop, to bend not break, like the tree in a storm, and she persists. In conclusion, she gets rescued and lives happily ever after when she finds her Prince with the help of Horus who dropped her stolen red slipper in his path. This is the first in a series called One Story, Many Voices.
Anything you didn’t like about it? As is typical of some folktales, adults should be aware that the content may be upsetting to younger children.
To whom would you recommend this book? Mainly children in grades 3 and up. Anyone interested in folktales, retelling of Cinderella stories, teachers, parents, writing mentors, etc.
Who should buy this book? Elementary or Middle School libraries, public libraries, teachers, or parents.
Where would you shelve it? 398.2
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Required reading if your collection of folktales could use updating, or for researchers who study folklore or Cinderella tales.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandy Kelly, JV Fletcher Library Westford, MA retired School Librarian in Carlisle, MA.
Date of review: May 13, 2019