Cinder Edna

by Ellen Jackson and Kevin O’Malley
Review by KM

For someone who helps run the children’s program at my library, I really don’t review many kid books. I tend to hang near the classics, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Monster at the End of the Book. I definitely take notes on books that I like when they enter the library and make sure to read them during story time. But I’ve been missing out on reviewing them and I want to correct that immediately.

Cinder Edna is a book introduced to me last year while I was working at Barnes and Noble. It’s not even in my library’s collection yet (which I hope to fix next week) and none of the parents I’ve mentioned it to have heard of it. This is, frankly, an outrage. Cinder Edna has quickly become my favorite Cinderella retelling.


The famous Cinderella and her neighbor Cinder Edna each worked sunup to sundown for their wicked stepmother and stepsisters. But while Cinderella had the good fortune to be rescued by her fairy godmother, Edna was strong, self-reliant, spunky—and she lived happier ever after!*


Cinderella is a tale full of magic and true love, which is awesome. But I think it’s just as awesome, if not more so, to be teaching little kids self-reliance.

Cinder Edna is a gal I can believe in, with a personality I’d want in a friend. She pushes her limits and achieves her goals through her own work.

(Here’s a bit of spoilers) Instead of day dreaming in the cinders, she finishes her chores for her wicked step-family and goes on to earn money by doing chores for neighbors. She rides the bus instead of making a carriage. And her prince? He broke his glasses; he doesn’t just randomly forget her face.

This book has to be in my top five for children’s books, one that I try to give to every friend that is expecting. It’s wonderful and funny; it’s a great break from the classic fairy tales that can quickly dominate a bookshelf. More than that, it shows that you can make your own happily-ever-after; you don’t need a fairy godmother to do it for you.

*Thank you,

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