July 16, 2015
Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt
In this version of the Cinderella story, we don’t have a raggedy girl who dreams of balls and gowns. No, this young miss is into fancy rocket repair. During the day, she fixes the robot dishwasher and the zoombroom but at night she reads manuals detailing ship repair.
When the prince announces an upcoming space parade, Cinderella’s family is invited. They shuttle off without her announcing that there is no room in their craft. The only possibility is for her to repair a broken down ship. Of course, when they rocket off, they take her tools.
Needless to say, a fairy godrobot saves the day with a sonic socket wrench and Cinderella makes it to the parade where she meets and impresses none other than … the prince. But I’m sure by now you saw that coming.
The story has creative touches, especially the sonic socket wrench and the other gizmos and gadgets but I’m not always a tremendous fan of rhyme which the author chose to use. Still, this story is worth it for the message — it is okay for a girl to be more than a pretty miss and mechanics and technology are totally within a girl’s sphere of influence.
Meg Hunt’s illustrations combine traditional media including graphite and brush and ink with digital for details and depth and the ability to bring Cinderella to life. While nothing says that the characters are multicultural, Hunt’s art work portrays adults and young people with skin of many hues. This is no milky white, blonde fairy tale.
This book will make a great addition to the classroom library when it comes time to discuss friendship, expectation, and acceptance. Of course, young readers will be just as interested in talking about the faux technology as well as how they would have fixed the engine without help from anyone.
Share this book with your class to spark discussion on a wide variety of topics.