If I could only have one version of Cinderella, this one is it. The pages are beautiful, stunning even, and look appropriate to the Victorian era (but don’t hold me to that, I am not versed in art history or fashion whatsoever) Amazing illustrations are not enough though, the story has to be a good one, and this is the main reason I love this book.
The story begins the same as the traditional tale with our neglected heroine. Cinderella is kind though, and actually meets the prince one day in the woods. She found a hurt bird and was tending to it when he came riding by. He notices her kindness and beauty right then but Cinderella quickly leaves because she is embarrassed of her raggedy appearance. Cinderella thinks of the prince after that day. Eventually a ball is held and she wishes to go, but of course her wicked family does not let her. The storybook describes how Cinderella continued to brush her sisters hair until it was “perfect and smooth” which I love because she is being kind even in the face of rudeness.
Now for the twist, as she is crying her heart out she sees the little bird whose wing she mended. The bird then turns into her fairy godmother (who is far from elderly and plump) she sends Cinderella to the ball with mice footmen in a flying coach. Cinderella amazes everyone at the ball, and the prince falls in love, feeling as if he has known her from before. On the second ball, Cinderella has a great time, but does not get home before midnight. The prince then goes looking for his love and tries the shoe on all the maidens in the kingdom. Cinderella asks to try on the slipper and the Prince says yes, making a reference to the bird she rescued. With both slippers on, she turns into the ravishing princess. The step sisters recognized her and fall at her feet, begging forgiveness for their rude treatment. Cinderella embraces them and they are forgiven. The prince apologizes for not fully recognizing her “heart whether clothed in rags or regalia.” Because he saw how humble and kind she was he falls even more in love and they are married and live happily ever after.
I love this version because it shows examples of Cinderella being kind and good not just telling us she was so. If it’s so important to be that way, the story should take some time showing it! I also like the prince more in this book than others because he admires Cinderella before the ball, and loves her even more after he knows her full story. I think this is my favorite because if my little girls were going to dream of becoming a princess or meeting a prince, I would want them to behave this way, and find a man who sees beauty in many forms.
- Author: K. Y. Craft
- Illustrator: K. Y. Craft
- Publisher: Chronicle Books
- Copyright: 2000
Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money. It’s still in print and plentiful at the library.