Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cinder Edna” as Want to Read:
Cinder Edna
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cinder Edna

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,935 Ratings  ·  328 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 Edna
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 24th 1998 by HarperCollins (first published April 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cinder Edna, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cinder Edna

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-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 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fairy-tales, children
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
Stella Chen
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.
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
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
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
Shelves: mighty-girl
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
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Entertaining version of Cinder ell that adds a neighbor named Edna.

Wonderful illustrations by Kevin O'Malley.

This story was selected as one of the books for the March 2017 - Humor reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
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.
Mrs Bond
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.
Courtney Kleefeld
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is possibly one of the cleverest picture books about Cinderella I've ever read. So cute and witty and modern.
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.
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.
Michael Fitzgerald
Lame modern parody.
Tiffany Ng
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
Genre: Fairytale

This book proposes Cinderella's foil, Edna. They are both neighbors put under the same circumstances. This story criticizes Cinderella and the Prince for being kinda dumb and incapable. Edna's actions mirrors the actions of Cinderella but Edna is just more practical. For instance, Cinderella wanted to go to the ball and cried until her fairy godmother arrived and gave her a beautiful gown and carriage. Edna on the oth
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I would have liked this book better if it had not been a side by side comparison with a positive and a negative Cinderella. Making Cinderella lazy, unimaginative, and vain pissed me off. If you read ANY traditional Cinderella, in any culture Cinderella possesses the qualities of hard worker, kind, and imaginative.
Cinder Edna was portrayed as better than Cinderella because she was self sufficient (she didn’t need help), always practical (wore loafers to the ball)and saw beyond a handsome face an
I loved this book as a kid. Over the summer at the program I worked at, this was a frequent choice among the kids. The story takes a look at Cinderella's neighbor Edna, who is a hardworking spunky girl. While Cinderella's story focuses on being saved, Cinder Edna is focused on taking care of herself. The story focuses in on a lot of important lessons in this book that kids can take away. For example, Edna works hard, and uses her resources and money to buy a modest dress to wear to the ball, and ...more
I liked a lot of this. I liked the plucky heroine, Cinder Edna, who lives next door to Cinderella. I like the prince Cinder Edna ends up with. I like that they actually get to know one another before marrying. I didn't like the jokes involving countries the two characters were obviously not members of, and at times it felt too didactic, in a similar way to why I dislike much of Disney (even though on the surface this is subverting Disney). Cinder Edna is the heroine because even though she's tre ...more
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
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 3-4
Interesting parallel story about Cinderella's neighbor, Edna, who works all day for the step-mom and sisters. They both end up at the ball and leave shoes behind. They dance with royal brothers. Edna is more practical and less pretty than Cinderella. This is a good, solid, believable story, but the characters seem a little old. Good illustrations. Reading level is higher and longer story than most versions. Recommended for Gr. 3-4.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella
  • Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella
  • Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella
  • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
  • The Persian Cinderella
  • Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
  • Fanny's Dream
  • The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition
  • Smoky Mountain Rose: An Appalachian Cinderella
  • Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter
  • Nothing Ever Happens On My Block
  • Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude
  • Bubba, The Cowboy Prince
  • Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition
  • Sleeping Ugly
  • Falling for Rapunzel
  • The Rough-Face Girl
  • Cinderella Penguin, or, The Little Glass Flipper