Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cinderella Smith

Barden, Stephanie. Cinderella Smith.
Nominated for the Cybils by Catherine Nichols

Josephine-Kathryn Smith, otherwise known as Cinderella because of her bad habit of losing just one shoe, is having a hard time at the start of the school year. Her best friend suddenly won't talk to her and she has to explain her name to a MAN teacher. Luckily, she makes a new friend in Erin, who is new to the school. Erin thinks that Cinderella must be an expert on evil stepsisters because of her name, so she seeks advice: her mother is getting married, and she will be getting two new college-age stepsisters. Cinderella is glad to help Erin investigate the possibility that they are evil, but she has a problem, too. In her tap class, she is up for a starring role, but she has lost one of her shiny new red tap shoes. Her former friend offers to loan her a pair but doesn't come through. Will the step sisters be evil? Will Cinderella get to dance?
Strengths: This was far better than Junie B. Jones for the third grade crowd. While we never find out what grade Cinderella is in, this would be okay for K-5 because of this ambiguity and the nice depiction of friend drama.
Weaknesses: A little precious, with the Cinderella concept, and the inclusion of a neighbor boy named Charlie Prince. Cinderella's dialogue is a bit odd, as well. She uses "alas" a lot. If the writing were slightly different, and the pictures not so young, this could have succeeded for older students as well.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not familiar with this book, so I'll have to see if it's stocked in our store's children's section. I hate the Junie B books and I'd love to have an alternative to give to parents & kids.