/*Starred Review*/ Ages 4^-8. There are many variations of the Cinderella story, and this version, set on the island of Martinique, is particularly vibrant, both in its melodious language and its spirited art. Collaborators San Souci and Pinkney, whose previous books include Sukey and the Mermaid (1992), have based their story on the French Creole tale, "Cendrillon." San Souci explains in an author's note that he has expanded the story and told it from the point of view of the godmother, a washerwoman who watches out for the lovely Cendrillon after her mother dies and her father remarries. The story follows the traditional lines, but always includes its own piquant touches. Breadfruit and lizards are turned into a coach and horses; and when the ugly stepdaughter tries on the slipper, the godmother calls out, "If you cut off those big toes, it would be a perfect fit!" Pinkney's artwork, executed in his signature style, is softened here by pinks, greens, and blues evoking the warm breezes of the islands. Flowers border some of the pictures and swirls of color add texture to the backgrounds. Even the pace of the story seems slowed by the setting. Perhaps that's why Pinkney uses every opportunity to infuse his pictures with action, whether it's Cendrillon being pulled out of the party by her godmother or sweeping across a dance floor when she finally dances with her bridegroom. A vital rendition of an old favorite. ((Reviewed October 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews
"You may think you know this story I am going to tell you, but you have not heard it for true," begins the washerwoman and unlikely godmother who narrates this spirited retelling. From the team behind The Faithful Friend comes an adaptation of a Creole tale that recasts familiar elements into the fashions and customs of the colonial West Indies. There is the haughty stepmother Prospérine, "puffed-up proud because her grandfather had come from France," the godmother who taps a breadfruit with a mahogany wand and transforms it into a carriage, and Cendrillon, who escapes at midnight with one pink slipper embroidered with roses. Pinkney's oil and scratchboard illustrations burst with vigorous movement as he captures the exotic palette and the lush textures of the "green-green island in the so-blue Mer des Antilles." The lyrical cadences of the text spattered with French and Creole words combine with the sensuous paintings to bring the tropics to life. However, the story's charm lies not in the well-matched Caribbean bride and groom or in the (rather predictable) happy ending, but in the authentic voice of the godmother. Her affection for the kind Cendrillon inspires her bold and selfless acts to ensure the happiness of another (and her quirky foibles prove equally appealing as she indulges in bowl after bowl of chocolate sherbet while proudly watching the couple's nuptials). Through this colorful and deeply human godmother, readers witness the enduring power of love. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Of this retelling of the Cinderella tale, set on the Caribbean, PW said, "The lyrical cadences of the text spattered with French and Creole words combine with the sensuous paintings to bring the tropics to life." Ages 5-10. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.