Sunday, February 06, 2011

Children's Book Monday {Cinderella Stories}

In our home, there are four favorite fairy-tale princesses: Aurora, Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella.

We've tried to teach the Resident Princess how to admire who they are, these ladies, rather than *just* what they're wearing. We talk often (almost daily!) about what a princess of the Lord should act like- would she serve others, or expect to be served? Would she flaunt her position over others, or treat them as equals? Where does her beauty really come from?

Cinderella happens to be Eliana's favorite of all the fairy tale princesses, and we have found that our favorite versions of the story include a gentle Cinderella from beginning to end; one who forgives her stepsisters and stepmother, and receives their love and devotion in return. And while the 1950 film version and subsequent story books are perfectly lovely, we have two other Cinderella books on our shelves that exemplify a true princess, one who we have no problem with the Resident Princess aspiring to be like.

Cinderella
by Barbara McClintock

It's no secret that Ms. McClintock's works are family favorites over here, and when we came across her version of the Cinderella story, the beauty of her artwork and a sweet retelling of the old story captivated us from the start.

I really wish I could show you the inside of this book, up close and personal; the detailed costumes (the author based her retelling on the seventeenth-century version by Charles Perrault, and the French influence is breathtakingly vivid), the crisp outlines and soft colors, the expressions... all combine to make an enchanting tale come to life in a little girl's heart- and her mama's!

Try to find it at your library- we know you'll love it, and it might just have to make itself a permanent resident of your bookshelves!

Cinderella
by Hilary Knight

Don't you just go back to the seventies and early eighties when you look at the cover of this book? I know I'm not the only mama in her thirties who thinks of Holly Hobbie and kerchiefs when she sees the blues and greens and plaids and messy bun on Mr. Knight's Cinderella.

There is so much depth to this interpretation of the old fairy tale; every single page has layer upon layer of story, if you're willing to linger awhile and let your little one point and discover. I've read it dozens of times to my girl, and when I heard my Papa reading it to her a few weeks ago, he even pointed out some more details I had never seen before!

Mr. Knight depicts a disheveled but lovely Cinderella, willing to kneel and put her stepsister's slippers on, even as the nasty girl uses Cinderella's head to lean upon. Eyes downcast, tears lurking behind eyelids, this lovely (from the inside out!) heroine serves her family with a quiet strength, and again, forgives them from the bottom of her heart at the end and wins their love and affection.

If you're looking for stories for your princess that are not only lovely to look at, but are character building and great conversation starters to boot, try one of these beautiful versions of Cinderella- you won't be disappointed!

Happy Reading!



4 fellow travelers shared:

Christine said...

These look lovely! I love your eye for true art, Elise. There's a Cinderella book we love around here called Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal which has bits and pieces of the Cinderella story from all over the world woven together. Not sure if you've seen that one as well. Hope you're all feeling better tonight! Love to you and your wonderful family. :)

Kristin said...

Have you and Eliana watched the Rogers and Hammerstein 1965 version? I have such memories of watching this with my mom when I was a little girl!

Kathi said...

My favorite version is, of course, the one my Ballerina Princesses performed in last spring. 'Cinderella' based on the classic ballet.

We have and love Yolen's version of Cinderella in 'The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories.' (comes with a story CD)

The Disney version is wonderful, one of my Kylie's favorites. We also love the musical version from 1997 with Brandy and Whitney Houston, fun! We haven't seen the Julie Andrew's version that Kristin mentioned though, I need to put that on our Netflix list.

My girls are older (almost 14 and almost 11) and they enjoyed 'The Rough Face Girl.'

I must admit that we are huge 'Ella Enchanted' fans. The movie, Levine's book, and the audiobook are well loved here. (probably for more mature-ish girls too).

Oh, oh! The version with Drew Barrymore...that's so good, Ever After (I think.). Probably for more mature audiences too...hmmm, do we ever stop loving Cindreella? I guess not!

Choosing to be quiet at my blog for a week or so...so no review for me. Enjoying having you back, and reading again! Off to visit Kristin...

Love!
Kath(sorry for such a long comment, I'm not being too quiet, huh?!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love the first song you have playing on here. Puts to song whats in my heart as I watch and love my sweet little boys.

I hope you are all feeling better. Your blog has been a blessing!
Amy

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