Reviews for Cindy Ellen : A Wild Western Cinderella


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 May 2000
Ages 5^-8. With a yee-haw and a do-si-do, the everlasting Cinderella story blooms again. Cindy Ellen's stepmother is the orneriest woman west of the Mississippi, and her two daughters are just as mean. Cindy Ellen is kept from the rodeo and square dance, but then her fairy godmother appears with a golden six-gun, and points out that Cindy needs some gumption before anything else. So off she goes with diamond spurs on her little boots. She rides the bucking bronco and steals the heart of one Joe Prince. The next night at the square dance she and Joe dance the night away, with the usual midnight foofaraw. But Joe tracks her with the mate to the diamond spur, and they get hitched "and live happily ever after in a ranch house full of love and rodeo trophies." The nasty sisters marry city slickers. The smooth, hard-edged illustrations lack personality, despite Cindy Ellen's many freckles; the fairy godmother has the most spirit, in her huge sombrero and red-fringed gloves. ((Reviewed May 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
Wielding a golden pistol, Cindy Ellen's fairy godmother not only conjures up riding clothes and diamond-studded spurs for Cindy, she gives her gumption, and Cindy outrides everyone at the rodeo, winning the heart of the cattle king's son. Expressive regional turns of phrase and exuberant full-color comic illustrations in skewed perspectives place the action squarely in the dry desert of the West. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 June #3
Lowell (The Three Little Javelinas) takes a fairy-tale heroine away from the hearth and gives her a home on the range and teaches readers a thing or two about moxie. Freckle-faced Cindy Ellen, a rancher's daughter, mends fences and mucks out the corral, but her new stepmother (who is "meaner than a rattlesnake") and two nasty stepsisters do not a lick of work. Cindy isn't allowed to attend a rich neighbor's two-day rodeo and square-dance extravaganza that is, until her fairy godmother wields her magical golden six-gun, yelling, "Hit the trail, honey! Remember, there ain't no horse that can't be rode and there ain't no man that can't be throwed!" Lowell's savory slang adds punch to this tale, which stresses the fairy godmother's message that "magic is plumb worthless without gumption." Manning (The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches) enhances this rawhide-and-lace fantasy in illustrations lush with cactus-flower colors and pale maize gold. Cindy's strawberry-blond tresses float in the desert breeze; her diamond spurs (which fit only her tiny boots) twinkle as she tames a wild horse and then dances the grand sashay with cowboy Joe Prince. An endnote speaks to the role of cowgirls in the West and the modern rodeo. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 December #1
"Savory slang adds punch to this tale, which stresses the fairy godmother's message that `magic is plumb worthless without gumption.' Illustrations lush with cactus-flower colors and pale maize gold enhance this rawhide-and-lace fantasy," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 June
K-Gr 3-Lowell has set another classic tale in a Wild West setting. Cindy Ellen was a rancher's daughter who had a "snaky old stepmother" and two stepsisters who "never did a lick of work all day." She also had lots of gumption and, with the help of some magic and a diamond spur, she "got hitched and lived happily ever after in a ranch house full of love and rodeo trophies." The characters and dialogue are fresh, but remain true to the spirit of the tale, from the fairy godmother with her magic pistols to Joe Prince, a rich rancher's handsome son whom Cindy beats in the rodeo competition one day and charms at the square dance the next evening. The heroine is the very picture of spirited sweetness, with auburn hair, a "daredevil grin," and a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. The text is lengthy for a picture book, but is told in language as lively, colorful, and detailed as the watercolor illustrations, and is a delight to read aloud. An abundance of action combined with humor and high-spirited hyperbole make this a rip-roaring rendition that will hold children's attention all the way to the satisfying, though expected, conclusion. Round up some listeners and have a ball!-Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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