Carey and Blanco look at a favorite fairy tale from a new angle.
Everyone knows about Cinderella’s evil stepmother and two nasty stepsisters, but there is actually a third stepsister, and the story has it all wrong: while there is one girl who does all the work while the rest laze about, it isn’t Cinderella. It’s Gertie, whose niceness and bright smile are the opposite of what her family, the Uglys, wants. So, when the invitation to the ball arrives, of course they can’t let her go without making her take lessons in villainy first from some of the best. But Gertie can’t stand by and let the Wicked Queen (from “Snow White”) and the Worst Witch (“Hansel and Gretel”) do their stuff, so off to the big bad Wolf she goes for more tutoring. In several twists readers won’t see coming, Gertie and the Wolf team up and meet the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella gets taught a lesson in manners, and the Wolf—well, let’s just say she gets what she wanted all along. The muted palette and look of Blanco’s digital illustrations give them a retro feel, and the whole vibe is somewhat French—from the street of row houses where the family lives to the beret jauntily perched on Gertie’s head.
A tongue-in-cheek fractured fairy tale for those who like a little naughty with their nice. (Picture book. 5-8)