Hardcover: 32 pages
Author: Kinuko Y. Craft
Publisher: Chronicle Books
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4. Craft retains some of Perrault's formality and many of his story elements in this sumptuous rendition of the oft-told tale. An introductory note points to sources that include The Arthur Rackham Fairy Book, Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, and the Grimms' "Aschenputtel," in which a bird grants the wish. Craft incorporates the creature at key points throughout her tale. Early on, a bluebird's injury creates a reason for Cinderella to linger in the forest, whereupon she encounters the prince in her unadorned state. Later, it is transformed into a Maxfield Parrish-inspired fairy godmother. Finally, the prince compares his guest's sweet voice to the warbler that sings at his window. While pulling some visual details from the Art Nouveau tradition-most notably the symbolic gilt peacocks in the cover's border-the oil-over-watercolor scenes are mostly reminiscent of French 17th and 18th-century paintings. A consummate artist, Craft conveys the sheen of pearls, the delicacy of lace, the volume of period fashion. She controls the pace with one-page compositions (faced with bordered, illuminated text) interspersed with wordless double spreads at climactic moments. Groups or individuals will enjoy contrasting this offering to Brian Pinkney's artwork for Robert San Souci's Cendrillon (S & S, 1998) or Alan Schroeder's Smoky Mountain Rose (Puffin, 2000). Make room for this one.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA
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