Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cinderella Smith by Stephanie Barden


Cinderella Smith by Stephanie Barden and illustrated by Diane Goode is currently a bargain ebook priced at $1.99. It's a cute book playing loosely with a few Cinderella plot devices to tell a middle reader story. This is bargain priced for the release of the sequel, Cinderella Smith: The More the Merrier.

Book description:

Cinderella Smith has a problem with a capital P. She loses shoes almost as quickly as she puts them on her feet. But now she’s lost the most important shoe of all: her shiny,ruby red tap shoe. Without it she won’t have a chance of being chosen Pumpkin Blossom Fairy for the fall dance recital—and that means no special tutu, no crown, and no solo!

The school year is starting out with big problems too. Her new teacher laughs at her name, she’s sitting at the smart-boys table, and her old best friend is ignoring her. Now the new girl, Erin, has asked for her advice on wicked stepsisters. And Cinderella doesn’t have stepsisters—wicked or otherwise!

The recital is just around the corner and the stepsisters are on their way. Can Cinderella and Erin solve the capital P problems in time?

Here's the slight review I wrote for it last year when I received an ARC to read:

When I was working as a full-time librarian, this is the type of book I was always hunting for to please both my young precocious readers and their parents. Cinderella Smith is fun--and I enjoyed the fairy tale tie-ins that were not belabored either--and fits the bill. Cinderella is so named since she has a regular habit of misplacing footwear. At this time the book falls inbetween my nieces ages--too young for the oldest and not old enough for the preschoolers. But I am holding onto it for I know it will be just what my sister wants for her daughter when she reaches precocious reader age as the girls in my family seem to do. The main character isn't snotty or annoying as I am told some other popular characters are by frustrated parents (I admit I am not as frustrated with them myself) but she still feels real enough for young readers. She also isn't a commercialized tween-wanna-be like some of the other books in this age group. Yes, it's wholesome, but that is what most parents want and most girls enjoy. There is scope for discussion and learning, but the book can simply be entertaining, too.
PS: I often enjoy Goode's illustrative work, too--I have her illustrated version Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes in my personal library. She has illustrated a few fairy tale picture books in the past, too. I should do a post on those some day.

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