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IF THE SHOE FITS by Laura Whipple


Voices from Cinderella

by Laura Whipple & illustrated by Laura Beingessner

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84070-5
Publisher: McElderry

A deeply satisfying version of the Cinderella tale, in the story-in-verse form that has become so popular in the past few years. The voices and point-of-view change, as do the verse structures, but the traditional story propels itself in slightly darker and more nuanced complexity throughout. It opens with an elderly Ella, and then the ghost of her father, who married again too soon after the death of his wife. The spiteful and bitter voice of the stepmother clangs harshly; the sweet and daffy one of the godmother is heard making a list for the ball. The king wants to cease ruling and study his butterflies; the prince is lonely and morose. It’s the cat—in feline, mysterious wordplay—who is the link between Ella and the godmother; there’s a funny poem about how the rat feels in coachman form; and a curiously touching one in the Queen’s voice, wondering how to welcome Ella, and what to do about the stepsisters. Beingessner’s fluid images, from full pages to tiny vignettes, capture in their agitated line and fine color the intensity of the text. The questions everyone asks—did they live happily ever after? What about the magic?—remain unanswered: “Once upon your own time, / you will sing your own tale. / You will have your own / ticking clocks and / chiming bells and / enchantments, you know. / Gather your life / and go.” (Folktale/poetry. 10+)