Have you ever given any thought to how different a story would be if told from a different point of view? Would Hansel and Gretel be different if we heard from the witch? Would the Frog Prince be any different if the story was from the point of view of the frog? How would our sympathies change? Would they?
In Mike Klaassen’s CINDERELLA, we are introduced to the retelling of the classic Grimms’ fairy tale but instead of a fairy godmother, Ella is a witch.
Overall likes are the point of view of the story. I really enjoyed being inside Ella’s head throughout as she wrestled with her new found skills. I also enjoyed being in the minds of the other characters as they struggled with their own personal fears and insecurities.
Often, when we read fairytales with witches, they’re evil; only out to cause harm but in Ella’s case, she battles between a desire for revenge over her treatment and the desire to escape her hardship. And once she does, her ability to do good is manifested by the subsequent years of peace and prosperity for all the people. And as readers, who wouldn’t be willing to manipulate a few people if it meant truly finding your happily ever after?