Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Book: A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella by Charles Solomon.

If you are a fan of Disney's Cinderella, you will most likely adore A Wish Your Heart Makes: From the Grimm Brothers' Aschenputtel to Disney's Cinderella by Charles Solomon.

Despite the book description below, be assured that this book is primarily about Disney's versions of the tale, lushly illustrated with great photography. I own the Sleeping Beauty version of this book, Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault's Sleeping Beauty to Disney's Maleficent, also by Solomon, and the history not directly related to Disney is sparse in relation to page count. So get this as a film fan with a desire for a little bit of Cinderella history, not as a definitive history of Cinderella book. There are plenty of other books that will serve that purpose better. They are not as photogenic as this one.

And, yes, I am assuming based on my experience with the Sleeping Beauty book. The tale's history provided in that one was pretty much summarized in the book description. I am sure it would also make a fine introduction for a younger Cinderella fan, just as the Sleeping Beauty one does. My five year old niece would adore thumbing through either of these books, too, although the content is somewhat over her head at this point. So it is a safe coffee table book for the family that will provide a brief overview of the tale's history, too. With lots and lots of pretty pictures which we all love, yes?

Book description:

With its kind heroine who receives her just reward-and a dashing prince-with the help of her Fairy Godmother, "Cinderella" is one the most beloved fairy tales throughout the world. Although the most popular versions appeared in Charles Perrault's Histoires ou contes du temps pass ("Stories or Fables of Times Past") (1697) and the Grimms' "Fairy Tales" (1812), the story can be traced back to the story of Rhodopis, a Greek slave girl who marries the pharoah of Egypt, which Strabo recorded in the first century B.C.E. In the late nineteenth century, British follklorist Marian Roalfe Cox catalogued 345 variations of the story.

For more than two thousand years, children and adults have read and watched as Cinderella endured cruel mistreatment without complaining-and met her prince before the stroke of midnight. A Wish Your Heart Makes will trace the history of the fairy tale, emphasizing its strong ties to Walt Disney and his studio.

Major artists who illustrated the story of Cinderella range from Aubrey Beardsley, Edward Burne-Jones, and Walter Crane, to Gustave Dor , Edmund Dulac, John B. Gruelle, and Arthur Rackham. The story has been adapted to the stage many times, including the operas La Cenerentola by Giacomo Rossini and Cendrillon by Jules Massenet, the ballet by Sergei Prokofiev, and musical adaptations by Rogers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim.

There have been scores of Cinderella films, beginning with a black and white short in 1907. But the most celebrated is Walt Disney's, one of his most beloved fairy tales-and the film that saved his studio, which had languished in the doldrums after the end of World War II. Years later, when a lunch guest asked Disney what his favorite piece of animation done at his studio, he replied, "I think it would be when Cinderella got her ball gown."

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