Friday, March 15, 2019

Review - Very Little Cinderella

Very Little Cinderella (The Very Little Series)
by Teresa Heapy
illustrated by Sue Heap
Date: 2014
Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Very Little Cinderella is adorably re-cast as a "very" little precocious toddler in this modern, sweet retelling of the classic tale. Look for all three books in this must-have, read-aloud series: "Very Little Red Riding Hood, ""Very Little Cinderella, " and "Very Little Sleeping Beauty."

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Wow. That was obnoxious.

Despite what the synopsis says, the toddler Cinderella is not precocious. She speaks in broken English and whines for her "lello" boot. (The Very Little Prince looks to be about her age, and he speaks properly... which just makes Cinderella look like she needs some sort of speech therapy).

This is basically a story about a really bad babysitter catering to a spoiled child. Cinderella wants to go to the party, so her Fairy Godmother takes her. She takes a toddler to an adult party and they stay until midnight. (Aren't there advice columns asking about this very thing? "What do I do when my entitled friends bring their screaming brats to my adult cocktail party?") Of course, Cinderella loses her "lello" boot, but I really don't care about her subsequent sulking because she shouldn't even have been at that party in the first place. (Eventually the Very Little Prince and his Mommy show up with the lost boot and the kids have a playdate. Whoop-dee-doo.)

Kids might like this one, but I don't think I'd want to have to read it to my kids. I don't like how all the adults cater to the child's every whim, keeping her up way past her bedtime and trying to bribe her out of her bad mood after she loses her boot. (Guess what? She wouldn't have lost it in the first place if there had been some responsible adults around!) I also don't like how the kid talks: "Cleaning all done. Now I have cookie." ... "It not fair!" she wailed. "I not stay here!" And don't even get me started on the "lello" boots...

The illustrations are just okay. I did like the map on the endpapers, but that was about it.

If you think about it, many of these fairytales aren't really suitable for toddlers, anyway. They need to be redone really well to make them appropriate. "Cinderella" is about domestic abuse, balls, staying up late, and finding a heterosexual mate... so I don't think it's exactly picture-book material to begin with. (For a much better retelling of this story for kids, have a look at Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood. It'll be a little beyond the appeal of most toddlers, but at least it's a more empowering retelling.)

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 1/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.33 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment