Cinderella and a Mouse Called Fred
What is this book about?
If you thought you knew the fairy tale Cinderella, think again!
Did you know that the fairy godmother was actually grouchy? Or that the rodent she transformed into the coach’s horse was named Fred? Or that Cinderella hid from the prince when he came looking for her with that uncomfortable glass slipper?!
A best loved fairytale is given the ending it deserves in this clever picture book that shows a heroine shape her own destiny … and find her fairytale princess.
Geeks Out interview with Deborah Hopkinson and Paul O. Zelinsky, by Michele Kirichanskaya, 11 August 2023
“Everything old is new again—and keeps getting better; a charming Ella for a new generation.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Why just fracture a fairy tale when one can infuse it with new possibilities for self-determination?” (Publishers Weekly)
“A fairly standard retelling changes course quickly when Cinderella storms out of the ball (“What a disaster!”) declaring that the prince is a snob and her feet are killing her (“Seriously? Glass high heels?”). As her horse turns back into a mouse and the pumpkin coach cracks open on the road, “Ella” blithely kneels on the ground, picks out the seeds, and pockets them. “I’ll find my own destiny, thank you very much”–and she does, with mouse pal Fred witness to it all. Zelinsky’s humorous illustrations have fun with Cinderella’s clown-like stepfamily and their ridiculous attempts to squeeze large feet into the tiny glass slipper. Ella, on the other hand, is depicted as a down-to-earth pumpkin farmer who soon finds true love with another like-minded farmer. The two women (yaaas!) marry and move to a small farm, where they grow spectacular pumpkins, in a truly satisfying fairy-tale ending. Hopkinson’s enhanced retelling even adds a small pourquoi tale: “And that, dear readers, is the story of how fairytale pumpkins got their name.” Sorry, Prince Charming, this revisionist tale ends quite happily without you.” (The Horn Book)