Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three Avatars of Cinderella

By total coincidence we read three versions of Cindy's tale today. Read on to find out more!

Shirley Hughes' Ella's Big Chance
The illustrations alone are worth whatever you pay for this book, and much more. We are die-hard Shirley Hughes fans so this might be a tad biased, but really check it out for yourself and then judge me!
In this variant of the fairytale, Ella Cinders lives happily with her father and their assistant Buttons in their dress shop. Till the father remarries, and the nasty new mom is plain awful to her. She does not allow the poor girl to attend the duke's ball and as per the original tale a fairy godmother appears to set things right. All proceeds per plan, except the end has a twist - Ella realises that Buttons has stood by her at all times and chooses him over the duke.
Clearly we have a special spot for stories with spunky heroines (see Exhibit A) and this one has our favourite illustrator/author refashioning a traditional story into one that has an end with a heart. We like!

Dahl's Revolting Rhymes
Set in rhyme with a wicked twist, Dahl has reworked fairy tales with his trademark humour. Cinderella thus goes to the ball as she is supposed to, rushes back at the strike of the clock at midnight and loses her glass slipper and the rest of the jazz. However the prince is a bit of a meanie - he chops off her stepsisters' heads without so much as a moment's thought, just because they did not agree with him. Cinderella feels she should marry a nicer man and the Fairy Godmother gladly obliges by proffering to her precisely such a specimen - a good-hearted jam-maker, and they live together happily ever after eating lots of home-made marmalade. A delicious tale indeed!

Laurence Anholt's Cinderboy (part of Seriously Silly Stories)
This is pretty much the original version with a small (not) twist - just switch genders! So Cinderboy is the sad little case with a heartless step-family. They all love football and support the home team - Royal Palace United. The step-dad and step-sibs go to watch the much-awaited finals of a football match series while Cinderboy is ordered to stay at home tidying the mess the others made. A TV Godmother appears to help the weeping Cinderboy and rescues not just him but also the home team from losing - and no prizes for guessing who it is who saves the day! The glass slipper in the original story is a glass studded football shoe here and the fairy's wand is the TV remote! A sure chuckle-inducer!

ETA: Another version I'd like to check out some time - Seriously. Cinderella is SO Annoying!


sandhya said...

Lovely! We have, of course, read Revolting Rhymes. The others- hand over, please! :)

Choxbox said...

Yes m'lady!

utbtkids said...

We have the Roald Dahl one.

You haven't read Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Starts with a twist. Ella is being born and screams her head off as a new born infant. A fairy hovering near by inadvertently gives her the boon of 'listening'. So the poor girl has to listen to everything. If the step mother says toss your new dress in to the fire, she has to, thanks to the curse. But Ella is spunky and she does her best to use her brain to find logic and reason to get out of the things that she absolutely hates to! Strong reco for 12+ year old children. (Has Ella's feelings for the prince, nothing in detail, but she is a 16 yr old and falls in love).

Sheela said...

Ella's Big Chance was a hit at home - I liked how she chooses to stay with Buttons who has been her friend all through and has stood by her. And yes, the illustrations are gorgeous!

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