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Cinder Edna

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,133 ratings  ·  352 reviews
“Exuberant and funny—kids will love this version of the familiar story for its humor and vibrant artwork.” School Library Journal

In Cinder Edna, Ellen Jackson and Kevin O'Malley team up to bring young readers the delightful story of what can be done without the help of a fairy godmother.

Once upon a time there were two girls who lived next door to each other. Cinder Ed
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 24th 1998 by HarperCollins (first published April 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,133 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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Cinder Edna I'm afraid I didn't love this. If it had just been a variation of the Cinderella story with "Cinder Edna" being her plucky, intelligent, outgoing self and the Prince being a bit more quirky and dynamic than fairytale princes are traditionally allowed to be, I probably would have enjoyed it. (Though I'm not a big fan of this style of illustration.) But the foil with the traditional Cinderella and Prince really didn't sit well with me. I didn't like how cynical the "Cinder Edna" retell ...more
While I have to a certain and pretty small point enjoyed Cinder Edna (it is indeed rather clever, often humorous, and while I have found Kevin O'Malley's accompanying illustrations much too gaudy, garish and annoyingly cartoon-caricature like for my personal aesthetics, I do have to admit that they work well enough in conjunction with author Ellen Jackson's reimagined, modern-day Cinderella type text), the overt and in-one's-face preachiness does tend to absolutely and majorly stick in my craw ( ...more
I didn't particularly like the silliness of the plot with two side-by-side Cinderellas, it didn't make much in terms of plot besides trying to use an "ugly" counterpart for the heroine for the purposes of being preachy.
May 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
This little fable about Cinderella's plain but hard-working neighbor Edna is cute but annoyingly obvious and preachy in a way that I had shoved down my throat all my school-years. I'm sure anyone over age 5 would guess from the beginning that our sympathies are meant to be with with the upbeat Edna as she mows lawns and cleans birdcages (Cinderella cleans all day too, but because she feels sorry for herself I guess we don't have to). We're supposed to admire Edna and her prince, Rupert, because ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I still love the story on this, um, 4th or 5th reread. I don't know that I find it particularly funny, exactly, but I do love the lesson that our own attitude determines our happiness, at least in the modern world. And I have a crush on Rupert myself....

As far as it dissing Edna's neighbor, Ella, well, I don't think it did so in a mean way, just strongly enough to make it plain how wrong it is to value beauty so highly over all else. And that is a lesson we're all trying to teach our daughters
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children, fairy-tales
Eh. I'm sure uber feminists who hate fairy tales would love this. It runs parallel with Cinderella's story, but shows Ella in a materialistic, ditzy, helpless role. Meanwhile, Edna is shown to be "smart", resourceful, and practical.

It does the same thing with the Prince and his brother who falls for Edna. Rupert makes fun of the prince, Randolph (although we all know Rupert is the prince, just ask Rodgers and Hammerstein) for not asking Cinderella's name, because, duh. He got Edna's. But yet, Ru
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddo-books
I absolutely adore this book. Ellen Jackson spins the classic tale of Cinderella to a more critical view when she adds in Cinder Edna, the next-door neighbor. The story we all know is changed completely as we watch Cinderella become the kind of stuck-up princess that her step-sisters were painted as initially. Cinder Edna works for her evil family members as well, but she is so much more down to earth and modern. Jackson has created a double story here where a character from our time mixes with ...more
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
This was cute, but a bit snarky for my tastes. I liked the overall idea of it and I loved the way Cinder Edna's relationship with her spouse is depicted. But, unfortunately a lot of it was sort of 'mean girl' snarky in feeling.

I really wanted to like this one because I love that Cinder Edna is an individual happy to walk to her own beat. HOWEVER, I think that you can be an individual and make your own choices without bashing the choices of someone else.

Overall, it's still a good book, but I fe
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Summary/A Thoughtful Review:
This book, fit for all ages, tells the humorous story of two next-door-neighbors, over-worked, somewhat helpless, Cinderella, and self-motivated, down-to-Earth, Cinder Enda. Cinderella, forced to work for her evil step-sisters and step-mother, is characterized as somewhat of a damsel in distress, sitting among the cinders, wishing to go to the ball, and needing a fairy godmother's help to provide a coach, gown, and glass slippers to get there. Cinder Enda, on the oth
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was learning English. This book is cute and I am surprised I still remember this.
Allison Reilly
Nov 27, 2017 added it
Shelves: 31-40

Cinderella and Cinder Edna are next store neighbors with similar lives. They both work for their step mother's and step sister's all day long. However, they have different mindsets when it comes to their life. Cinderella can't wait for her fairy godmother to come and take care of her and to get married to a man that will take care of her as well. Cinder Edna takes life by the horns and makes her own destiny. They both go to the ball where the prince and his brother are looking for a wife.
Amanda Joseph
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cinder Edna is written by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley. I listened to this book as a read aloud on YouTube. The video did not show the words, which I think showing the words would have made it easier to follow along. I found this title on Good Reads popular traditional literature book list. This is a story about Cinderella and Cinder Edna. They both have different experiences about attending a ball and meeting their true love. Cinderella’s experience is most like the tradition ...more
Jen King
Annotated Bibliography Entry: Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson


This is a fragmented tale of Cinderella. It is basically the classic Cinderella with a few twists: Cinderella is not as one-dimensional as the classic and there is Cinder Edna, a girl who lives the same type of lifestyle as Cinderella, but has a more positive outlook on life and love and actually knows how to do stuff on her own. She is independent, buys her own dress for the ball and takes the bus, rather than relying on a fairy
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
I had never heard of this story before, but it is so cute and hilarious! The story follows Cinderella and Edna. The story flip flops between the two telling the traditional story of Cinderella, and then a more realistic version of how things would actually happen through Edna. For example, Cinderella shares she has to leave before the clock strikes midnight because her Fairy Godmother's spell would run out and Edna responds that she has to leave by midnight because that's when the buses stop run ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cinder Edna is the less beautiful, more practical, doesn't feel sorry for herself counterpart to Cinderella. It sounds good in theory, but it kind of turns into a treatise on how Edna is so much better than Ella and her choices are somehow morally superior. I'm more of a to each their own kind of person. It does have some funny parts, though.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
We all know the classic story of Cinderella, but have you heard the story of her neighbor, Cinder Edna, who was much more content doing chores and work? Cinder Edna knew how to cook, clean, find true happiness despite the challenges of living with a wicked stepmother and stepsisters. When Cinderella and Cinder Edna attend the fancy ball, they will both find love, and promptly have to return home by midnight for very different reasons. Their new loves then set out to find them based on their uniq ...more
Shayla Diaz
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked reading this book. It has the differences between Cinderella and Cinder Edna. I can see myself using this book to talk about comparing and contrasting the characters in the story. The students can use a graphic organizer to tell me what the same about the characters and what is different about the characters. Also I read Cinderhazel and it also could be used to talk about different versions of the same fairy tale that students are use too. Also I could bring in the different versions of ...more
Kimberly Parrott
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cinder Edna, in my opinion, is a great modern day look at the fairy tale Cinderella. In this picturebook Cinderella lives next door to Cinder Edna and both have similar duties while working for their step mothers and step sisters. However, Edna finds the good things in life while Cinderella sits by the cinders and mopes. When it comes time for the ball Cinderella is hopeless and relies on her fairy godmother for everything while Cinder Edna had a dress on layaway and took the bus to the ball. Ed ...more
This book reminds me of a quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley that I like: "“The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”

Cinderella and Cinder Edna both have evil stepmothers and stepsisters that force them to work. But when Cinderella is done, she sits by the cinders and feels sorry for herself. Cinder Edna goes out to mow lawns and clean cages to earn money for herself. When the princes hold a bal
Luisa Knight
Cinder Edna lives next door to Cinderella. She's stuck in the same pickle too, with a wicked stepmother and sisters. But rather than resorting to magic as her counterpart does, Cinder Edna gets things done just a little more, shall we say, resourcefully.

If you can handle your Cinderella looking just a little silly and a bit shallow, and are prepared to like a hard-working, practical, tuna-casserole loving, recycling girl, than this is the witty story for you!

Ages: 5 - 9

Cleanliness: Someone says
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Entertaining version of Cinderella that adds a neighbor named Edna and a younger brother for the prince named Rupert. The narrative contrasts the very superficial and beauty-conscious Cinderella with the very practical and productive Edna.

The illustrations by Kevin O'Malley complement the narrative nicely and really bring the story to life. I really enjoyed reading this book.

This story was selected as one of the books for the March 2017 - Humor reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Bo
Ch_hayley Medsker
Mar 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson isn't your typical Cinderella story. In fact, Cinder Edna is actually Cinderella's neighbor! While Cinderella spends her day tirelessly doing the wash dishes, and resting in ashes and soot at the end of the day, Cidner Edna whistles while she mows the lawn and bakes the best tuna casserole for her not-so nice stepmother and stepsisters. The story continues to compare and contrast the lives of Cinder Edna, who goes to the ball in penny loafers and takes a liking to th ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Edna is the somewhat plain but optimistic, practical and hardworking neighbor of Cinderella. While they both work as maids for their step-family, Edna also takes in odd jobs to buy a dress. While Cinderella wails to her fairy godmother that she can't get to the ball, Edna takes the bus.
This book was so adorable! I loved this twist on the traditional Cinderella story. I have often been bothered by Cinderella's "passive" lifestyle, and that she just waits around for someone to solve her own probl
Apr 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
An alternative version to Cinderella with a 'Great Gatsby' type setting. "And the girl who had been known as Cinder Edna ended up in a small cottage with solar heating. During the day she studied waste disposal engineering and cared for orphaned kittens." She can name fifteeen kinds of tuna casserole and tell jokes about kangaroos from Kalamzoo.

As far as 'plucky' and 'hard working' poor goes, the original Cinderella slaved all day from morning to night and slept in the ashes by the fireplace to
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love this one! I've read so many Cinderella spin-offs by now, but this one definitely sticks out. Cinderella and Cinder Edna live next door to each other, and both serve their evil stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella is beautiful--but when she isn't working, she sits in the soot and sighs. Cinder Edna isn't beautiful--but she has spunk and wit! Read the book to find out which one lives happily ever after...and what happily ever after really looks like, too.
This may offend those that love Disney princesses, but it does have a great message about finding happiness your way without trying to fit into a prescribed mold of what "happy" should be.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
A cute story for kids about making your own happily ever after, and not relying on chance. Making the best out of a bad situation. Really cute.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Cinderella's next door neighbor is in a similar situation, but handles herself much differently. She is more sensible, practical and loves a good joke.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Yes, my first book of 2016 is a picture book. My friend's little sister asked me to read it to her, so I did. Cute Cinderella story, well, Cinder Edna story. I enjoyed it.
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