Gundula's Reviews > Cinderella Skeleton

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci
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Feb 01, 15

bookshelves: childrens-literature, fairy-tales-fantasy, folklore-europe, halloween, picture-books, book-reviews
Recommended for: children who enjoy fun and/or spooky adaptations of fairy tales
Read on January 21, 2012, read count: 2

A quirky, fun and deliciously ghoulish adaptation of the Cinderella fairy tale, Cinderella Skeleton is a perfect story for a Halloween read-aloud (I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but Cinderella and all of the other characters are skeletons, they live in a mausoleum, and the Prince's name is Prince Charnel, instead of Prince Charming, perfect). Although some sensitive, easily spooked children might find the lush, descriptively ghoulish illustrations a bit creepy (parents should make sure that the illustrations will not be too frightening and spooky before reading this tale with or to their children), the story itself is actually quite sweet and not all that frightening (with some interesting and humorous twists, like Cinderella Skeleton's stepfamily leaving for the ball in a hearse, and Cinderella being claimed by her prince by means of a lost foot instead of a lost glass slipper).

I don't know if I like the illustrations in and of themselves, and I do wonder wether some of the illustrations would have perhaps frightened me a bit as a child (first reading Cinderella Skeleton as an adult, I find the illustrations creepy, but fun, a perfect complement to the ghoulishly quirky, poetic narrative). However, the story, the narrative had me smiling and giggling right from the start, and I think I would have enjoyed the story even as a child, the rather creepy and ghoulish illustrations notwithstanding. I have always enjoyed clever, fun adaptations of fairy tales, and Cinderella Skeleton is truly fun and imaginative, while at the same time retaining the general feel, the emotions, the themes of the original story.

As a final word, I also kind of wish that the author had included some supplementary material about Cinderella-like tales and their place in world folklore (since this is more of an original adaptation, the lack of an author's note is not as noticeable, but the folklorist in me still misses it somewhat).
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Thanks, Gundula. Looks interesting. Your review makes me want to read it.


Gundula Lisa wrote: "Thanks, Gundula. Looks interesting. Your review makes me want to read it."

I enjoyed it, both funny and poetic and perfect for Halloween.


Ronyell Great review Gundula! I really enjoyed this book too!


M.J. Hey, Gundula - been away but was glad to see this book when I got back! I have a copy in my library and have read it previously but when you sent along the recommendation I pulled it out for a re-read. I love fractured fairy tales and this one is about as fractured as it gets! LOL


Kelly H. (Maybedog) I am so excited!!


Gundula Kelly wrote: "I am so excited!!"

A cool book!!


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