The Town End Primary School presents a play based on Cinderella, and readers are invited to watch the action onstage, backstage and in the audience. From the multiracial cast of kids who perform, to the ongoing comments of the watchful parents, this is quite a good first look at how plays happen, without ever losing track of the Cinderella storyline. While performers are onstage, some children are slipping into costume; others are quietly pushing scenery and props into place. The funniest scenes in this hand-sized book are of the stepsisters bossing poor Cindy around, and the entire comic strip-like production, in black-and-white miniature drawings, is as informative as it is fun. Ages 4-8. (March)
Gr 1-3 A charming book for one-on-one sharing, The Cinderella Show gives readers a front-row seat at Town End Primary School's Christmas play. Beginning with a title-page sketch of a bundled-up Cinderella walking through the starry night on her way to the performance, the small black-and-white drawings almost stand alone. The chaos in the dressing room gives way to two small actresses peeking through the curtain at the audience. The perspective shifts to the audience as the play begins. Then comes intermission, with the audience chatting over refreshments while the cast relaxes backstage. The play resumes and moves toward the Prince's proposal. Post-performance confusion ensues, and then audience and actors head for home through freshly-fallen snow. Scratchy cartoon-style pencil illustrations are cleverly laid out, giving the impression of a series of film segments. Full-page drawings and two-page spreads are used for wide angle scenes; a close-up effect is created by dividing the page into four sections bordered in white, a la comic strips. Humorous details abound. While the book's small size and dialogue preclude story hour use, this is a terrific lap book; older primary children could read it alone. Lucy Young Clem, Evansville Vanderburgh County Public Library, Ind.