As in The Three Snow Bears, Brett gives a timeless story a wintry setting--in this case, 18th-century Russia. Her watercolor and gouache pictures take full advantage of the country's ornate architecture and exquisitely patterned aristocratic costume, and even make a henhouse elegant. After a girl named Tasha brings oats to Cinders and the other chickens, a blizzard prevents her from leaving the tower that houses them. Tasha curls up by the stove to sleep, giving the ensuing story a dreamlike quality. Largessa and her daughters Pecky and Bossy are all aflutter when an invitation to a "feathered frolic" arrives from Prince Cockerel. After the other hens depart for the ball, a fuzzy Silkie hen arrives to transform Cinders into a beautiful pullet in "a splendid silver sarafan dress." A gatefold depicting the feathered revelers in all their finery underlines the humor of the premise and Brett's bountiful imagination. Images in the windows of miniature sideline structures complement and foreshadow the unfolding plot, and the careful details Brett brings to the setting and characters give the story a true sense of enchantment. Ages 3-up. (Nov.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
K-Gr 2--As Tasha feeds oats to her chickens in the old tower, a blizzard rages outside. As usual, her beloved Cinders is pushed and bossed around by the old biddy, Largessa, and her daughters, Pecky and Bossy. The blizzard piles snow against the door and Tasha must curl up in front of the warm stove to wait out the night. As she sleeps, another world unfolds in the tower, beginning the familiar tale of a ball, a prince, a fairy godmother, and a slipper. While the tale is well known, the players most certainly are not. In this wintery, St. Petersburg-inspired venue, wet feathers and frayed wing tips replace a ragged dress and an ash-covered face, a beautiful silkie hen stands in for a dear fairy godmother, and the prize of the ball is Prince Cockerel. All ends well for Cinders, of course, and readers get the happy ending that is expected, but Brett's fans know that it's the illustrations that bring magic to the story. A stunning starry sky bathed in moonlight is the backdrop for each panel, from the warm, cozy coop to the dazzling landscape surrounding the prince's ice palace. Inside, readers will find a dramatic gatefold rendering of the dance floor, with hens and cockerels bedecked in their finest attire. What could be mistaken for a comical interpretation of the classic tale is instead a charming transformation with Brett's majestic stylings and a bit of whimsy.--Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH[Page 117]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.