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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Cendrillon: The True Story of Cinderella is a novella for children and preteens written by Tom Hendricks. The narrator of the story, who remains anonymous, had an ornate chest that just happened to have an undiscovered secret drawer. One day, his housekeeper tripped over some shoes in the attic, and her fall caused the drawer to open. In it were a packet of old letters tied with a ribbon. He brought the packet to the curator he bought the chest from, who opened it and found letters written in German, and bearing the royal seal and a black and white etching of a young girl. When the letters were translated, they were found to be from Queen Cendrillon to her son, Prince William. They bore a startling resemblance to the fairy tale about Cinderella.
Tom Hendricks' preteen and children's novella, Cendrillon: The True Story of Cinderella, is a marvelous retelling of the classic fairy tale. It's simply and elegantly related by the anonymous narrator, and I found myself enchanted by his story. It doesn't matter that we've all read or heard the story of Cinderella many times before. This version, which includes a carefully restored photograph of the heroine of the tale, makes the story an adventure and a delight all over again. The wicked stepmother, Rachael, and her daughters are suitably awful, and the circumstances surrounding their meeting with the prince are priceless and comedic. And Cendrillon? She's everything a fairy tale lover could ask for. While this novella is geared for a preteen and child audience, anyone who still remembers the thrills and chills of the fairy tales of their childhood will love it as well. Cendrillon: The True Story of Cinderella is most highly recommended.