Reviews for Cinderlily : A Floral Fairy Tale in Three Acts


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Spring
This elegant Rose Parade rendition of Cinderella fashions the set and characters out of digitally manipulated images of flowers, leaves, and other natural objects, so that, instead of a slipper, the belle of the ball leaves behind a petal. Choreographed against a black background, the illustrations achieve a balletic grace unmatched by the rather lifeless rhyming text, which is rendered in sometimes hard-to-read script. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 October #1
Waving his digital wand, Ellwand poses balletic figures made from flower parts against black backgrounds for an uncommonly elegant, theatrical rendition of the fairy tale. Just an upended stem with slender, graceful lily stamens for limbs and a twist of dried petals for dress, Cinderlily arrives at the Sultan's palace in a pumpkin coach with sunflower wheels; those petals open to dazzling white curls as she enters, and she leaves one behind when they revert at midnight. In the pared-down plot, the Sultan, quite dashing in his iris-petal pantaloons, quickly tracks Cinderlily down, upon which her stepsisters, instead of suffering just deserts, merely slip offstage. Written in stumbling meter and printed in a set of ornate typefaces, the text doesn't measure up to the inventive art-but children will know how the story goes anyway. An eye-catcher. (Picture book/folktale. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 November #3
Aided by his computer, Ellwand (Fairie-ality) fashions actual flowers into fairy-tale characters for this visually striking Cinderella story. The elegantly designed book imitates a stage show: a pair of ivy leaves serves as classical comedy and tragedy masks, and oversize daylily petals become orange curtains framing a midnight-black proscenium. Tagg's (previously paired with Ellwand on Metal Mutz!) breathy rhymes begin with the announcement of the Sultan's Autumn Ball: "One bedraggled flower hears/ The news and gives a sigh./ Her name is Cinderlily,/ And she's beautiful but shy." For Cinderlily, photographer Ellwand turns a flower upside down and rearranges its parts: her upper torso is a green stamen, and she has no face other than the stamen's plain brown top. Her skirts are pale lily petals that have dried and curled at the tips, while her feet are pollen-dusted filaments. Her fancier sisters have violet-and-white pansy-bloom faces and ruffled skirts made from voluminous pink blossoms. With the fairy's arrival, Cinderlily's skirts rehydrate and turn a moist white, and butterflies pull her pumpkin coach. Soon she meets the Sultan, who sports ballooning purple pants made of iris flags. At midnight, Cinderlily darts away, leaving behind "just a single lily petal." As Ellwand manipulates flowers to resemble graceful dancers (Cinderlily's leaps are modeled on Olga Korbut's), fanciful script lettering, delicate stencils and subtle page borders give the production the look of a wedding invitation. Fans of Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers's fruit-and-vegetable extravaganzas will appreciate this floral cousin. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 January
K-Gr 3-In this visually intriguing twist on the traditional tale, Ellwand has replaced the human protagonists with flowers. Using Adobe Photoshop, he has arranged lilies, pansies, tulips, roses, and other petals in graceful poses against stark black backgrounds. While the pictures are technically well executed, it is unlikely they will engender other than a passing interest in children. Tagg's text, written in reasonably well-rhymed couplets, is thin on plot, character development, and imagery. In addition, the alterations she makes in the original tale are incongruous. The prince has become a Sultan, but nonetheless the "band strikes up a waltz" at his Royal Autumn Ball. The fonts, which change frequently in an apparent attempt to match the action of the story, are often hard to read, particularly when placed against those black backgrounds. For a more effective use of natural objects as characters, stay with Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffer's How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods (Scholastic, 1999).-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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