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The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon
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The Glass Slipper (1955)

by Eleanor Farjeon

Other authors: Ernest H. Shepard (Illustrator)

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I absolutely love some of Farjeon's work. This was a a little scattered, a little odd. At a few, brief, times it felt almost like either a hack job or a parody of the Cinderella story. But as I got further into it, and saw how all the little songs and the extra characters belonged in this version, all came together for a richer story.

I loved the chapters at the ball. The enchantment lay over the prose as it did over all the ladies as they lightly ran out into the snow to play Hide & Seek with this little stranger, this utterly charming Princess of Nowhere.

I'm not comfortable with the character of the Zany, the Jester.
And I'm frustrated that the character of the Father was drawn sympathetically, but then just totally dropped before the end.

And, even though I read the whole book, I don't know how the author managed to stretch it out for so long. Really there wasn't much more here than in most 6-8 page versions.

I suspect Farjeon dreamed the ball, wrote it all done in a fever state, realized how lovely it was, and constructed a book around it. And because she was an established & successful author, her editor trusted her, and didn't push her to improve it (ie, by telling us what happened to the Father). ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This is a lovely "old-fashioned" retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. It is based on a play and this is obvious in both the way the action centers on a few specific locations (eg. the kitchen in the house) and the rhyming verses many of the characters speak. The language is lively and fun. The "things" in the kitchen are animated, which adds a whimsical touch. My 4-year old, who has a fondness for this particular fairy tale, asks for it over and over again; needless to say it works really well as a read-aloud.

The characterizations are very straightforward -- Cinderella is sweet and good, her father is kind but weak and completely under his wife's thumb. The stepsisters are selfish and crude. The stepmother is actively cruel and malicious. The prince is shallow. There is also a "Zany" or companion to the Prince, and then the necessary mysterious fairy godmother.

If giving this to a child, you may want to know that Cinderella's stepmother repeatedly refers to her as a "slut" and a "slavey". I simply changed these for reading aloud. ( )
  merrystar | Jul 15, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eleanor Farjeonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, Ernest H.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This story of the Fairy Play THE GLASS SLIPPER is dedicated with Eleanor's and Bertie's love to ROBERT DONAT the Play's Fairy Godfather
First words
Outside the kitchen, in the falling snow, the Rooster crowed, "Cockadoodledoo!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please be careful when combining, as the novel "The Glass Slipper" should not be combined with the play of the same name.
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Book description
"Cockadoodledoo!" crowed the rooster for the third time. "There you go!" said Ella, sitting up. "Time to get up - I know! Light the fire - boil the kettle - fill the lamp - sweep the ashes - lay the table - bake the cake - scrub the step - feed the hens - and especially the silly-shrilly snappy-flappy old cock! I know!"
In this animated version of the Cinderella story, animals can talk, and clocks and fireplaces do more than ticktock and burn. Every creature and thing is vocal and alive - and fortunately for Cinderella ("Ella" for short) they're all on her side! Her nasty stepsisters and wicked stepmother may have her scrubbing and cleaning from morning till night, but her friends are always with her. In Eleanor Farjeon's classic retelling, Cinderella is delightfully strong and kind, and a true princess who deserves - and finds - her Prince Charming. Children and adults alike will delight in Farjeon's comic descriptions and enjoy this wonderful story with a happy ending that continues to enchant each new generation of readers.
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In her haste to flee the palace before the fairy godmother's magic loses effect, Cinderella leaves behind a glass slipper.

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