This richly illustrated storybook is based on the version of Cinderella made famous by Charles Perrault in 1697. He was the one to add the pumpkin, fairy-godmother and glass slippers to the classic fairytale of a much beloved and wrongly persecuted heroine. In this digital version, the storyline also has a bit of Brother's Grimm woven into the ending. Instead of marrying lesser lords (as in Perrault's version), the step-sisters and their mother are imprisoned by a flock of birds.
This ebook was published in print in 2002. It is now out-of-print, but the reviews for it at Amazon.com are nearly all 5 stars. Ruth Sanderson is known for her lavish oil paintings and masterful translations of classic folktales, and this book delivers both quite well in digital form. I found the well-crafted storytelling and gorgeous artwork to be the highlight when sharing it with my child. It's definitely a version of Cinderella that will please discriminating adults as well as children.
The book has beautiful sound effects that can be found by tapping, although at first I didn't realize they were there. The sounds include classical music, tinkling for the magic wand and lots of happy bird song. According to the developer, PicPocket Books, an instruction page is coming in a future update. Even without it, if you tap on the pages it's not too hard to find lots of neat sounds accompanied by light animations.
This ebook is a good example of just the right amount of enhancement for a digital picture book. There are things like moving sparkles around Cinderella's glass slippers and twinkling around the godmother's magic wand. These features make the already beautiful illustrations somehow more enchanting. Even without these extra features, Sanderson's Cinderella is a captivating retelling that I would recommend for slightly older readers, 6 and up. For a title this long, a way to navigate within the book would be a nice addition in a future update, but other than that, this title is a perfect retelling of the classic tale.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
15 - 20 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: Yes
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 6 - 10
[Based on the version by Charles Perrault w/a touch of Brother's Grimm] Once upon a time, there was a widower who married a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She had two daughters, who were equally vain. By his first wife, he'd had a beautiful, young daughter, who was a girl of unparalleled goodness and sweet temper. The Stepmother and her daughters forced the first daughter to complete all the housework. When the girl had done her work, she sat in the cinders, which caused her to be called "Cinderella". The poor girl bore it patiently, but she dared not tell her father, who would have scolded her, since his wife controlled him entirely.
One day, the Prince invited all the young ladies in the land to aballso he could choose a lovely wife. As the two Step-sisters were invited, they gleefully planned their wardrobes. Although Cinderella assisted them and dreamed of going to the dance, they taunted her by saying a maid could never attend a ball.
As the sisters swept away to the ball, Cinderella cried in despair. Her fairy Godmother magically appeared and vowed to assist Cinderella in attending the ball. She turned a pumpkin into a coach,mice into horses, a rat into a coachman, and lizards into footmen. She then turned Cinderella's rags into a beautiful gown, complete with a delicate pair of glass slippers. The Godmother told her to enjoy the ball, but warned that she had to return before midnight; otherwise, the spells would be broken.
At the ball, the entirecourtwas entranced by Cinderella, especially the Prince, who never left her side. Unrecognized by her sisters, Cinderella remembered to leave before midnight. Back home, Cinderella graciously thanked her Godmother. She then greeted the Stepsisters, who enthusiastically talked of nothing but the beautiful girl at the ball.
When another ball was held the next evening, Cinderella again attended with her Godmother's help. The Prince became even more entranced. However, this evening she lost track of time and left only at the final stroke of midnight, losing one of her glass slippers on the steps of the palace in her haste. The Prince chased her, but outside the palace, the guards had seen only a simple country wench leave. The Prince pocketed the slipper and vowed to find and marry the girl to whom it belonged. Meanwhile, Cinderella kept the other slipper, which had not disappeared when the spell had broken.
The Prince tried the slipper on all the women in the kingdom. When the Prince arrived at Cinderella's villa, the Step-sisters tried in vain to win over the prince. When Cinderella asked if she might try, the Step-sisters taunted her. Naturally, the slipper fitted perfectly, and Cinderella produced the other slipper for good measure. The Step-sisters begged for forgiveness, and Cinderella forgave them for their cruelties. Cinderella returned to the palace, where she married the Prince. The step-mother and sisters are then forced into their home indefinitely by a flock of angry birds.
The moral of the story is that beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything. [Source: Wikipedia]