Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella
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Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  408 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Once upon a time, there was a sweet cowgirl named Cindy Ellen, who lived with the orneriest stepmother west of the Mississippi and two stepsisters who were so nasty, they made rattlesnakes look nice! But when a fast-talkin' fairy godmother teaches Cindy Ellen a little lesson about gumption, Cindy lassos first place at the rodeo and the heart of Joe Prince....

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Paperback, 40 pages
Published December 18th 2001 by HarperCollins (first published 2000)
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3.5 STARS. I admit I am not much of a wild west gal, but the idea for this retelling intrigued me. I thought it was pulled off fairly well, and should definitely appeal to girls who aren't really into the "princess" tales. Cindy Ellen impresses her "prince" by winning ribbons in the rodeo! I wasn't wild about the illustrations, and a few time I wanted to groan with the cliches ("Meanwhile, back at the ranch...") but overall it was a cute renovation of the classic tale.
The story is based of of Cinderella but with a western twist. Cindy Ellen's father remarried a crabby lady with two bratty girls and they treat Cindy like crap. When the richest rancher announces that he will host a three day rodeo and the winners reward is a large sum of money. Cindy Impresses everyone with her rodeo skills and on the third night at the dos-se-do she twirls the night away with the ranchers son. Midnight rolls around and she runs off and one of her diamond spurs falls off instea...more
I did not care for this traditional tale of a wild west version of Cinderella. Every character seemed to be illustrated to look alike - male and female. The connection between Cindy Ellen losing her diamond spur as she runs away and Cinderella losing her glass slipper is almost too corny for me. Intended for ages 4-8, I might use it in my classroom for a compare/contrast lesson, possibly with a Venn diagram. There are so many other versions of this story with substance, such as Cinder Edna and C...more
Mrs. Wynn
Goodness, did our kindergarten friends LOVE this book today. I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a book where I can give characters crazy accents--and this one fills the bill. Crank out your western fairy-godmother and Texas wicked stepmother accents. Yee-haw, a fun-filled romp through the Cinderella story, western version!
Cindy Ellen is wild western version of Cinderella. This book is illustrated in a way that makes the book look almost as if it were a cartoon. Cindy Ellen is a cowgirl that lives with a stepmother that is mean and unkind to Cindy Ellen. She was said to be the “orneriest woman west of the Mississippi.” The stepmother had two step daughters that were not able to even slightly compare to Cindy Ellen in kindness or beauty. Cindy Ellen was a great cowgirl but she made the Stepmother’s daughters look b...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
Saddle up for this wild western Cinderella story that stars Cindy Ellen. When Cindy Ellen’s father marries a second wife “meaner than a rattlesnake” Cindy Ellen’s life changes for the worse. She is made to do all the dirty work on the ranch, while her stepsisters sit back and do nothing. Then everyone in town is invited to a rodeo and square dance, but Cindy Ellen is not allowed to go. Thanks to her fairy godmother, Cindy Ellen is transformed into the cutest cowgirl this side of the Mississippi....more
(NS)Jennifer Reiner
This hilarious version of Cinderella keeps you giggling and intrigued throughout the whole book. Cindy Ellen's father has married the meanest woman west of the Mississippi. She is terrible and has two evil daughters. The step sisters make up mean nicknames for Cindy Ellen. One day, there is a rodeo, and low and behold, Cindy Ellen's fairy godmother appears in typical cowboy clothing. She dressed Cindy Ellen for the rodeo. At the rodeo Cindy Ellen impresses everyone with her bull riding skills. T...more
NS-Christine Johnson
Cindy Ellen lives on a ranch out West, and is a pretty good cowgirl. When her father marries the "orneriest woman west of the Mississippi," Cindy Ellen is forced to do all of the dirty work around the ranch. Meanwhile, her two stepsisters do nothing! They even nickname her "Cinderbottom" because her pants get so dirty from all of the hard work she does!

One day, the biggest cattle king invites all of the neighbors to a rodeo and square dance. The two stepsisters head off to the rodeo, and leave C...more
Native southwesterner, Susan Lowell, treats readers to a wild-west version of Cinderella. This story is complete with evil stepmother, 2 evil stepsisters, fairy godmother and a handsome prince. Er, handsome cowboy. And Cinderella is referred to as Cindy Ellen. Instead of going to a ball Cindy Ellen attends a rodeo and square dance. At the square dance she loses a diamond spur. Handsome cowboy finds the spur, tries every eligible woman in the territory, finds Cindy Ellen and they live happily eve...more
Amy Musser
Yee-haw! Grab your Stetson and slip on your spurs for this Wild West retelling of the classic Cinderella story. When her father marries his second wife, a woman “meaner than a rattlesnake,” things get tough for sweet and pretty Cindy Ellen. Cindy Ellen does all the work on the ranch, but her life changes on the day of the big rodeo when her fairy godmother swoops down and shoots her magic golden pistol into the air. This not only spruces Cindy Ellen up, but fills her heart with strength, happin...more
Becky B
The subtitle of this picture book says it all: it is truly a wild western Cinderella story. Instead of a ball, Cindy meets Joe Prince (son of a cattle king) at a rodeo and then at a square dance. She loses a fancy spur for Prince to track her down with, and her fairy godmother has a golden gun instead of a wand. Other than that, it is the pretty standard Cinderella story told in heavy Western vernacular (some of which I'm pretty sure Lowell just made up).

This would be a great choice to compare a...more
(NS) - Heather Hayman
This Cinderella story, written by Susan Lowell, is a hilarious western version based off of the unforgettable original tale. Cindy Ellen is unable to attend the rodeo and square dance since she is left with all of the dirty work on the ranch. She is soon visited by her Fairy Godmother who is straight out of a classic western movie. The rest of the story follows the usual Cinderella theme in a true Wild Western tale.

This story involves a girl who is both pretty and strong, making it a positive re...more
Justine Paige
I really liked this version of Cinderella. It would be a good book to go a long with a Cinderella or traditional tale unit. Pictures were cute. I loved that the glass slipper was replaced with a diamond studded spur. It was so similar to the Cinderella story I grew up with, but with a western twist.
This is a cute wild-west version of the Cinderella story, filled with common words from that era. The text is long, so better to be read to children with longer attention spans or to those interested in the Cinderella story. The pictures are great, too!
Brigid Michaud
I really enjoyed this version of Cinderella. It was fun to read to my students with a country twang! It had the familiar Cinderella story elements but was a southwestern modern version of the story. Cindy Ellen seems to be a bit more spunky than the typical story book Cinderella. Her fairy godmother is a sharp shootin' cowgirl that has a golden pistol that shoots out her magic rather than a wand. The handsome prince is a rancher that goes out on the quest to find the fair cowgirl that dropped he...more
Denise Choate
A Wild Western Cinderella 2001 Fairy Tale

This was a newer Cinderella version I had not read before. This version follows the familiar “Cinderella” model with a few exceptions. The part of the fairy god mother was a familiar story element, but this was a southwestern version of the typical Cinderella story, she’s a cowgirl too whose a sharp shooter with a golden pistol. The handsome prince is a rancher that goes out on the quest to find the fair cowgirl that dropped her diamond studded spur at th...more
Chelsea Kimmey
This book would interest those who love Cinderella
This story is a fun rendition of Cinderella set in the wild west. My kids have read this book several times now so they must like it although I don't hear any laughs or giggles during the story. Perhaps they don't get the wild west humor! This book is wordy and full of vocabulary, like gumption, and idioms that they are unfamiliar with. But they still do like the story. I enjoyed reading a different version of Cinderella and one where Cinderella (Cindy Ellen) had to do something besides look bea...more
Adam Clavey
This book is a western spin on the classic fairytale cinderella. Instead of going to a ball she goes to a rodeo and square dancing. Everything is western themed including the language used. There are many idioms in this book which would not make it a good read for ELL and ESL students. Because of the sometimes complex word choice, this would be a good book for students in 2nd to 4th grade. These students will enjoy the spin on the story and find the language very humorous. This book is a fairyta...more
Megan Staten
I really like the spin off of the normal Cinderella story. The illustrations were really colorful and vivid.
This is a western version of the traditional Cinderella story. I liked that the fairy godmother told Cindy Ellen to have gumption that magic won't work without it. Cindy Ellen goes to the square dance and loses a diamond spur in her rush to get out. Joe Prince and Cindy Ellen rode off into the sunset together in the end. I liked the Western Lore in the author's note at the end. The illustrations are nice but nothing special. Good for Kindergarten and up.
Cindy Ellen is an adorable version of the classic tale in which we meet a sweet cowgirl who has the meanest stepmother "West of the Mississippi." Her sassy fairy godmother teaches her about the rodeo and she catches the heart of the cowboy by getting first place at the town rodeo! Instead of a glass slipper, Cindy Ellen loses her diamond spur. It's a very engaging story, especially for young readers who are captured by the "cute" illustrations.
Samantha Penrose
This red neck re-telling of cinderella involves a pistol toting fairy godmother and an evening rollick at a rodeo.....maybe for you, but not for me!

This story was read to my kids at a library group for preschoolers....I thought that it was not an age appropriate choice. My children simply cannot relate to the sounds of gunfire and a pistol toting fairy....maybe more appropriate for a rodeo family... ;)
Julie Heidingsfelder
Traditional Literature. I think this is my favorite retelling of Cinderella. I loved how they adapted every detail of the story to western. Even the fairy godmother has sparkly, fairy dust around her cowboy boots. The illustrations do a great job of making the step-mother frightening and her "gown" included flowery stitches on her pants and diamonds on her boots. Cracked me up.
Kara Curtin
I would use this in a text set of cinderella’s or in fairy tales. I like that Cinderella can be found in any culture just about so it will show students how they can take a story and fit it to their personal style and culture. I would also use this to teach about the strength within. It was not just the fairy godmother giving her the magic. She had to believe in herself.
For this week on Goodreads, I decided to examine 3 versions of the same traditional tale: Cinderella.

A cute version of the classic Cinderella fairytale, this book puts it into a Wild West context full of rodeos, squaredances, spurs and horses. This book contains a lot of Western lingo, which would be fun to read aloud but might be confusing to some younger readers.
Alexa Beal
This book was such a good twist on the classic story of Cinderella. It's about a cowgirl who is picked on by her stepsisters who try to keep Cindy Ellen from going to this year's Rodeo Square Dance. Cindy Ellen ends up sneaking to the dance and gets the chance to dance with the rodeo king. She ends up losing her spur and yatta yatta, it follows the Cinderella story.
Another Western Cinderella tale. I liked the other one better, but this one was cute. A few more western terms used that I wasn't used to. And there was only an occasional use of "country grammer" which just made it look like bad editing instead of a western flavor. Still, possibly could book talk this one in an Old West/Fractured Fairy Tales theme.
Rll520a_Christina Coleman
This is a fun spin off of the Cinderella story. Instead of a ball, there is a rodeo and a square dance. There are some very similar elements to the original Cinderella story. Cindy Ellen's godmother had a magic golden pistol instead of a magic wand. Another differnece was her diamond spur instead of a golden slipper. Great to compare and contrast.
Allison Melowsky
This is a fun Western version of Cinderella. Cindy Ellen, rather than a glass slipper, loses her diamond spurs, ultimately riding away with Joe Prince on a horse drawn wagon with a sign reading "Just Hitched". My favorite part of this book was the character of the fairy godmother. She's just as I would have pictured a Western fairy godmother.
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Her family has lived in the American West since Gold Rush days. She and her husband and their two daughters divide their time between Tucson Arizona and a ranch near the Mexican border.
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