Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes
Brenda S. Miles and Susan D. Sweet, Authors
Valeria Docampo, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Oct. 17, 2016
Suitable for Ages: 5-8
Themes: Gender Roles, Self-Confidence, Stepfamilies, Family Relationships, Dreams
Opening: Once upon a time there lived a girl named Cinderstella. She had two stepsisters who made her work every day. But every night, Cinderstella climbed to her treehouse to be close to the stars.
Book Jacket Synopsis: Cinderstella has plans for her own happily ever after and a future princess she is not. She’d rather be an astronaut.
In this modern retelling of a beloved fairy tale, children are encouraged to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Cinderstella dares to be different, has a sense of curiosity, and knows what she wants. A universe of opportunities.
Why I like this book:
The authors have created a meaningful and entertaining retelling of the classic fairy tale, but with an inspiring twist. The text flows nicely and rhymes in places. Cinderstella dreams of becoming an astronaut. While her stepsisters keep her busy sewing gowns for the ball, shining jewelry and styling their hair during the day, at night she studies the stars and planets and creates her own universe of dreams. She convinces her fairy godmother that she doesn’t want a gown and a carriage, but prefers a spacesuit and a rocket so that she can travel into space.
Cinderstella dreams big and steps outside gender specific pursuits. Refreshing. Her interest in science, technology and becoming an astronaut, should be encouraged in young children of either gender who show an interest.
Valeria Docampo’s colorful, lively and dreamy illustrations capture the wonder of what happens when you have a big dream. The authors and illustrator team up to produce a winning book for children.
Resources: There is a Note to Readers that provides suggestions for parents, caregivers, and educators to spark children’s interest in science and to encourage the pursuit of any career despite lingering stereotypes about what boys and girls can and should do. This should help parents who may not know where to begin. Encourage kids to dream big. Take them outside to gaze at the stars. If you have a trunk of dress-up clothing for kids, add an astronaut costume. Use the book to help children draw their own space ship.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.