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Cinder Edna
1994
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Instead of glass slippers, Cinderella's neighbor Cinder Edna wears comfortable penny loafers to the ball, where she falls in love with the prince's goofy, tender-hearted younger brother. "Full of kid-pleasing jokes," said PW. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-This clever, double story follows the fates of two young women. Readers know Cinderella, who works all day, sits in the cinders, and needs her fairy godmother to get the ball moving. But Cinder Edna next door has used her spare time to learn 16 different ways to make tuna casserole and to play the accordian. She earns money by cleaning out parrot cages and mowing lawns, and can she tell jokes. When the dance is announced, she dons the dress she bought on layaway, takes the bus to the ball, and wears loafers for dancing. She wins the attention of Prince Randolph's younger but dorky brother, Rupert, who loves to dance and tell jokes, and runs the palace recycling plant. Both women dash off at the stroke of midnight. The two princes' plans for finding the owners of the lost glass slipper and the beat-up loafer are a hilarious contrast. Ella ends up, of course, with the vain, boorish Randolph. Edna moves into a solar-heated cottage, caring for orphaned kittens and playing duets with her husband Rupert. O'Malley's full-page, full-color illustrations are exuberant and funny. Ella is suitably bubble-headed and self-absorbed while Edna is plain, practical, and bound to enjoy life. Kids will love this version of the familiar story for its humor and vibrant artwork. Buy two copies-one to circulate and the other to hoard for story hours.-Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. In a modern feminist version of Cinderella, the strident message overwhelms the magic, but, fortunately, humor softens the commentary. Two stories are told side by side. The traditional passive Cinderella is the neighbor of liberated Cinder Edna. Cinderella is weak and victimized, and she needs a fairy godmother to get her to the ball. Cinder Edna also has a hard time at home, but instead of moping in the cinders, she earns money mowing lawns and cleaning parrot cages. She's not beautiful, but she's strong and spunky and funny. She wears comfortable loafers to the ball--and she takes the bus. What's more, the prince is boring; it's his younger brother, Rupert, who attracts Cinder Edna. They dance and boogie all night; they swap jokes and recipes; they talk about waste disposal and ecology. O'Malley's contemporary comic illustrations extend the parody and exaggeration. Stiff dumb-blonde Cinderella and her smirking prince are shown in their dull public roles. In contrast, the uninhibited Cinder Edna and her boyfriend (who looks a lot like Woody Allen) live happily ever after in their solar-heated cottage with a bunch of orphaned cats. There's fun in the literal reduction of the fantasy as well as in the transformed role models. ~--Hazel Rochman

  Horn Book Review

Neighbors Cinderella and Cinder Edna lead parallel lives, slaving away for wicked stepmothers. While helpless Cinderella relies on her fairy godmother to make her happy, spunky Cinder Edna takes charge of her own life. Both get their princes, but while Cinderella's husband bores her to tears, Cinder Edna lives blissfully ever after with her prince. Pastel art adds humor to an old tale with a contemporary, farcical twist. A delight for go-getters everywhere. From HORN BOOK 1994, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

One of two new takes on a tale that feminists justly find problematic (see also Minters, below). This prose update recounts the parallel stories of a wimpy traditional Cinderella and her assertive, sensible neighbor Edna, who has wicked stepsisters too but enjoys the competence acquired from her work and earns extra cash with outside jobs--so that when the invitation arrives she already has a suitable ball dress on layaway. Wearing her comfortable loafers, she takes the bus to the palace and enjoys dancing and trading jokes with the prince's brother Rupert, a proponent of recycling who's smart enough to get Edna's name, much facilitating his later search for her. Poor Cinderella ends up bored with her handsome but vacuous prince while Edna and Rupert enjoy a modest but productive life, ``happily ever after.'' O'Malley's satirical characterizations and lively compositions are right in the spirit of the entertaining story. (Picture book. 5-10)
Summary
The famous Cinderella and her neighbor Cinder Edna each worked sunup to sundown for their wicked stepmother and stepsisters. But while Cinderella had the good fortune to be rescued by her fairy godmother, Edna was strong, self-reliant, spunky--and she lived happier ever after! "Nicely executed....This Cinderella send-up is full of kid-pleasing jokes."--Publisher's Weekly.
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