Sunday, February 16, 2014

Walt Disney's Cinderella

Author:  Cynthia Rylant, Illustrator:  Mary Blair; Published:  2007

Walt Disney's Cinderella, retold by Cynthia Rylant, is very romantic.  "This is a story about darkness and light, about sorrow and joy, about something lost and something found.  This is a story about Love."  Cinderella's life at her dead father's house is cold and dark, but Cinderella has not given up on love, unlike her evil stepsisters, who would not recognize love.

One day, the king decides that his son must find a wife.  I found it interesting that Ms. Rylant referred to the prince as having "every quality anyone could ask of a man who would some day be king," but the king is in search of a girl, "the prince...had not fallen in love...all of the girls he had ever known or seen, not one had touched his heart."  Since the pictures are based on the old Disney pictures, I suppose that type of language fits.  I'm not offended by the language, perhaps I would have been in my college days, but now I see that it matches the older pictures.  As I had previously mentioned, the story is very romantic.  I want to be this Cinderella who is discovered by her prince.

Cinderella is left by her stepsisters and mother on the night of the ball, but Cinderella knows that love is waiting for her at the ball.  She could not bear the dark house, so she goes outside and cries.  The picture of Cinderella outside does not give me a warm feeling, I feel that she is isolated, scared, and cold.  Her tears created a miracle, however, her fairy godmother, who created the carriage, the coachmen, the beautiful dress, and the glass slippers.

As we leave the outside of Cinderella's dark house, the colors change and the sky is now green and blue, there are golds, and finally Prince Charming sees Cinderella and there is pink.  Love at first sight.  "How does a young man find his maiden?  His heart leads him.  He finds her in a room.  He asks her to dance.  And when he touches her, he knows."  Oh my goodness, this is a dream!  I'm going to have to ask my husband if this is how he felt the first time he saw me!  It really is like a dream, the light blue/green colors seem so quiet and relaxing and they fall in love.

At midnight, Cinderella rushes home, loses her glass slipper, and once again Cinderella is in the dark.  We see Cinderella at the top of the stairs.  She is in a dark stairwell, but the light around her is the blue that reminds me of the prince.  The duke is searching for the owner of the tiny glass slipper and discovers Cinderella.  Unfortunately, it is the duke searching for Cinderella.  I wish that the prince had been motivated enough to search for his love, but Cinderella returns to the castle, as do the pink pages, and the prince takes "her in his arms."  Sigh. 

I cannot wait to share this book with my students.  I want to compare it to Yeh-Shen.  I'd like the children to
notice the differences and similarities.  I want them to notice the fish, the fairy godmother, the tears, the princes, the dresses, the colors.  I know my students will really enjoy it and will find doing a Venn Diagram fun.  Fun and learning, I can't ask for more!

Find this book at your library!

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