This Germanic Cinderella is simple, direct and rather sweet.

CINDERELLA

A GRIMM'S FAIRY TALE

First published in German in 2011 as Aschenputtel, this is a gentle(ish) version of the oft-told tale, with illustrations evocative of the 18th century.

A dying mother tells her daughter that she will look down from heaven upon her, and every day the girl goes to her mother’s grave to weep. Her stepfather remarries, and his new wife’s two daughters scorn the girl and force her to be their servant. When the invitation for the prince’s ball arrives, the stepmother first sets Cinderella an impossible task that friendly birds help her to accomplish. Still denied the ball, Cinderella, weeping, recites a rhyme on her mother’s grave, and a white bird drops down a silver and gold ball gown and silk slippers, one of which she leaves behind in haste and which the prince picks up, triggering the classic search. The first stepsister cannot get her foot in it at all, and the second cuts off a piece of her heel to make it fit. Of course it is Cinderella whom the slipper fits, and “they were happy ever after.” This version neither marries the stepsisters to local nobles nor sends birds to peck out their eyes. The pictures, even to the ship-in-full-sail hairdo on one stepsister, are based on 18th-century patterns and styles, and Cinderella’s dress has a satisfying quantity of gold floral glitter.

This Germanic Cinderella is simple, direct and rather sweet. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-86315-948-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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