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by Linda Bailey ; illustrated by Freya Hartas

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-984813-82-4
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Who doesn’t love a good “furry tail”?

This book opens as expected: Cinderella sweeps the fireplace and bemoans her sad, lonely, boring existence. Then her wish for a fairy godmother is fulfilled in the form of a fairy dogmother, who’s crestfallen when Cinderella explains whom she actually wanted. However, Cinderella, an empathetic dog lover, decides to give this a go. Alas, a misunderstanding occurs when Cinderella asks about preparing for the “ball.” The Fairy Dogmother interprets the word differently at first, envisioning a frolicsome game of fetch. However, she’s got magic up her sleeve and whips up a nifty outfit, footwear, and hairstyle for Cinderella, albeit with a canine aspect. Other “Cinderella” details get “doggified,” and the ball ends up being a howl in more ways than one. Spoiler alert: There’s a twist on the glass-slipper-leading-to-marriage ending. Not to worry. This one’s much better—and involves squirrels. This rollicking story will arouse plenty of giggles as young readers enumerate the ways in which it veers from the original. Adults can encourage little ones to think of how “Cinderella” might work with other animals subbing in for the fairy godmother. The imaginative, colorful digital illustrations burst with energy and expressiveness. Cinderella is light-skinned. The royal family hosting the ball is brown-skinned, and background characters are racially diverse; the brown, floppy-eared, tutu-wearing dogmother is adorably memorable. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A barking good time will be had by all.

(Picture book. 4-8)