Monday, September 1, 2008


Author: Donna Jo Napoli

First line: Xing Xing squatted by the water, silent and unmoving.

Why you should read this book: Another remarkably successful historical novelization of a fairy tale from celebrated children's author Napoli. This time around, she tackles Cinderella, drawing on Chinese sources and setting the tale in the Ming dynasty, where she can make use of the foot-binding theme, add a blind demon raccoon, and transform the dead mother's benevolent spirit into a giant koi. Although we know how the story ends, the journey there is joyous, poignant, and amazing.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Your fairy godmother has to say, "bippity boppity boo," and wave a magic wand.

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