Sootypaws: A Cinderella Story – Maggie Rudy

Sootypaws: A Cinderella Story – Maggie Rudy, Henry Holt and Company Little Simon, 9781250186041, 2020

Format:  Hardcover, Picture Book

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review)  5

 Genre:  Folklore 

What did you like about the book?   A charming new retelling of the Cinderella story with the lead character being a sweet little mouse whose mother was eaten by a cat. When her father passed away she was left with his second wife, a rat, and her two stepsisters who treated her terribly. They called her Sootypaws because she slept in the fireplace ashes to keep warm. Her only friends were the animals and creatures that lived in the garden. When the wicked stepsisters were predictably heading to the ball, Sootypaw’s friends, the garden animals came to her rescue. Because there was a full moon, it was a very good night for receiving wishes, and they dressed her beautifully, right down to her rose thorn high heels and the moth that became her cloak. In the end the prince found the owner of the tiny thorn shoes but the not very predictable ending has a delightful twist to it.

It is difficult to decide which is more enchanting, the warm story or the incredible illustrations. The author creates the pictures from 3D characters and scenes she built, mostly with salvaged materials. She then photographs them as miniature stage sets. “Her work stars mice and small woodland creatures, and is firmly grounded in the natural world.”  They really are beautiful and create a Cinderella character that any reader can appreciate. 

Anything you did not like about the book.  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  School and public libraries, teachers, parents and grandparents. 

Who should buy this book?  School and public libraries. Preschools and daycare centers, anyone who works with children.

Where would you shelve it?  Easy, Picture books

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes.

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Sandy Kelly, Retired: Carlisle  School Library, JV Fletcher Library, Westford, MA

Date of review: 2/22/2020

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