Everyone knows the story of Cinderella—but what about Cinderella’s shoemaker?
After a fairy godmother’s magic runs out before her godchild has shoes for the ball, a shoemaker steps up with perfect glass slippers. But the shoemaker’s clerk, Mona, convinced she’s the one who will marry the prince, persuades the shoemaker to guarantee her royal marriage by making a glass slipper just her size—which is nine, in contrast to the unnamed godchild’s five. The shoemaker, whose love for Mona is unspoken, sadly agrees. When the prince appears, Mona performs a shoe switcheroo, puts “her best foot forward,” and declares herself the prince’s intended. The honorable prince pales, but their wedding is on until a furious (but romantic) fairy godmother intercedes and true love reigns. Comical cartoons in full-page scenes and smaller cameo illustrations pair well with a rhyming, tongue-in-cheek text, though the scenes’ busyness will make them hard to share with groups. Both the fairly wordy text and the premise skew this tale toward older preschoolers at the youngest, as listeners will need both some patience and an understanding of the story this one subverts. The cast is an all-white one, with primary characters running toward caricature: the short, portly shoemaker; homely, frizzy-haired Mona; the Roman-nosed prince; and a decidedly zaftig fairy godmother.
A comedic happily-ever-after one-on-one read-aloud. (Picture book. 5-8)