Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Jane Ray
Novelty Book
For ages 6 and up
Candlewick, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763661755

Ladies and gentlemen please take your seats as the show is about to begin. For your delectation we present Cinderella, and you don’t have to leave your home to see the show.

   In this extraordinary pop-up book the story of Cinderella is presented using six three-dimensional scenes, each of which has three layers. A frame-like first layer provides a little context for the story layer that lies behind it. Behind this is the backdrop. Put together these layers produce scenes that make one feel as if one is looking at a theatre stage. On either side of the ‘stage’ two pages open up and this is where the text of the story can be found.

   The narrative begins with us seeing poor Cinderella slaving away in the kitchen. Next door, in the parlor, her sour-faced stepsisters are lying about admiring themselves and eating treats. We can see clothes hanging on a line through the open kitchen door, and there is a basket full of mending that poor Cinderella is going to have to take care of.

   In the next scene we are in the stepsisters’ boudoir and they are getting ready for the prince’s ball. Both the sisters, who are still sour-faced, are in their undergarments and Cinderella is in the process of positioning an enormous wig on the head of one of the sisters.

   The story unfolds with four more richly illustrated scenes that bring the story to life and that will delight readers who have a fondness for this timeless fairy tale.