Reviews for Smoky Mountain Rose : An Appalachian Cinderella


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 May 1997
Gr. 4^-7, younger for reading aloud. Putting a down-home and downright enchanting Smoky Mountain spin on Perrault's classic Cinderella tale, Schroeder shows Rose, a trapper's dutiful and loving daughter, at the mercy of her father's "fearsome" second wife and two stepsisters, who are so mean "they'd steal flies from a blind spider." Schroeder's prince is Seb, a "rich feller--made his fortune in sowbellies and grits"; the palace ball is a square dance in Seb's barn; and the fairy godmother is a talking pig. The glass slippers remain: although Rose allows they're not too practical for square dancing, her dainty foot slips easily inside when Seb, searching the countryside for the shoe's owner, has her try it on. Sneed's watercolors are rich and intense; his angular lines draw readers into the action, whether the perspective is up close for Rose's feet or set back for scenes from a distance. From the opening line's enlarged, boldfaced, attention-grabbing "Now lis'en," this spirited rendition begs to be told or read out loud for sheer enjoyment and for enrichment in folklore studies. ((Reviewed May 15, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
Schroeder offers his own variant of the Cinderella story, using enough dialect to make an enjoyable read-aloud. In his version, a hog plays the role of the fairy godmother, and Rose falls in love not with a prince, but with a wealthy man who ""made his fortune in sowbellies and grits."" The dynamic artwork features elongated figures in pleasing compositions. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 June
Schroeder has taken the classic Perrault fairy tale and recast it "smack in the heart o' the Smoky Mountains." He begins his retelling with the directive, "Now lis'en," and continues to relate the familiar events in lilting mountain dialect with plenty of homespun humor. Seb, the love interest here, is a made his fortune in sowbellies and grits." Rose's transformation takes place through intervention of a kindhearted, articulate hog. The tale concludes, "To this day, Rose and Seb are still livin' there, and folks reckon they're `bout the happiest twosome in all o' Tarbelly Creek," giving the story a contemporary bent. Everyone knows what's going to happen, but getting there is half the fun. Sneed's slick, stylized watercolors seem at first to be out of sync with the down-home narrative, but it quickly becomes clear that the disparate union is a successful one. The paintings are realistically rendered but slightly distorted figures are elongated and angular, features exaggerated, and perspectives askew. People are clad in fashions of the 1940s and the lush Appalachian landscape is always in evidence. The fanciful, but decidedly quirky artwork effectively informs readers, in case they didn't already know it, that there's magic in them thar hills. An appealing all-American addition to the canon of "Cinderella" variants. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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