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CINDERELLIOT by Mark  Ceilley


A Scrumptious Fairytale

by Mark Ceilley & Rachel Smoka-Richardson ; illustrated by Stephanie Laberis

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-7624-9959-5
Publisher: Running Press Kids

A fairy-tale retelling with a sprinkle of gender swapping (and actual sprinkles!).

Cinderelliot absolutely adores baking, from measuring ingredients to putting on the finishing touches. But as (ful)filling as baking can be, Cinderelliot wishes for more—for someone to love him as much as they love what he bakes. Unfortunately, his stepsiblings don't fit that bill, though they do love his desserts—so much so that when the prince holds a competition to choose a new palace baker, the cruel pair demand that Cinderelliot make pastries that they can pass off as their own. Readers can guess what comes next—a desperate wish to attend the competition granted by a stylishly besuited fairy godfather; instant sparks with the smitten, sweet-toothed prince; and a midnight dash leaving only a chef's hat behind. Gender play in fairy-tale retellings is hardly new, and some elements are a bit overdone here, but the baking spin and dash of fluffy romance sealed with a kiss on the cheek keep the plot from going stale. Animated illustrations look as though they might jump off the page with cascades of color and all the frenetic energy one expects of a sugar-charged adventure. Cinderelliot and his stepsiblings are light-skinned, and Prince Samuel is dark-skinned along with a smattering of background cast in the palace. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Shamelessly saccharine and delightfully queer.

(Picture book. 4-7)