Cinderella Skeleton

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Cinderella Skeleton
Was everything a ghoul should be:
Her nails were yellow; her teeth were green-
Foulest in the land was she.

Poor Cinderella Skeleton! Her evil stepsisters treat her with scorn and work her from dawn till dusk. But when Prince Charnel hosts his famous Halloween Ball, Cindy finally gets her chance to shine. With the help of a good witch, Cinderella Skeleton ...

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Cinderella Skeleton
Was everything a ghoul should be:
Her nails were yellow; her teeth were green-
Foulest in the land was she.

Poor Cinderella Skeleton! Her evil stepsisters treat her with scorn and work her from dawn till dusk. But when Prince Charnel hosts his famous Halloween Ball, Cindy finally gets her chance to shine. With the help of a good witch, Cinderella Skeleton is transformed into the belle of the ball and steals the prince's heart. Then just as the sun peeks over the horizon, she must dash away! Will Prince Charnel ever find his true love again?
Master storyteller Robert D. San Souci and award-winning illustrator David Catrow have dreamed up a hilarious fractured fairy tale about the most dreadful darling you've ever seen.

A rhyming retelling of the story of a young woman who finds her prince at a Halloween ball despite the efforts of her wicked stepmother. The main characters are skeletons.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"No glass slipper appears in this often funny graveyard romance," PW said. "Instead, the skeletal prince breaks the heroine's shinbone as she flees the Halloween Ball. A Cinderella story that girls and boys will love." Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A very strange Cinderella has unique charm in this macabre version of the familiar story. San Souci tells her tale in a concise, intricate verse form that includes a grisly sense of humor with its vivid description. She is a skeleton, with a witch to transform her pumpkin, etc. and change her rags to fancy gown. Prince Charnel is left with her snapped-off foot bone to match in order to find his lost love for a most unusual happy ending. Catrow's double page scenes are a fair match for this unusual version, with their contrasting misty hues of glowing pinks and bilious yellows, and broken stone walls with creepy vines and creepier creatures. Of course the main characters, with their costumed skeleton bodies and straggly-haired skulls, steal the show. The happy couple, he in Napoleonic hat and uniform and she with a dandelion sprouting from her head, are the epitome of ghoulish parody, a sure hit with middle schoolers. 2000, Silver Whistle/Harcourt Inc., $16.00. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-Not for the faint of heart, this retelling continues the author's fascination with "Cinderella" tales. In challenging vocabulary and a complex rhyme scheme, the clever narrative tells of Cinderella Skeleton, a wraith who lives in a mausoleum with her horrific stepmother, Skreech, and stepsisters Gristlene and Bony-Jane. She wiles away her days streaking the windows, hanging cobwebs, and feeding bats until the Halloween Ball invitation arrives. A good woodland witch conjures up the usual participants into a funeral wagon, dragon steeds, a gown, and slippers, but in fleeing from Prince Charnel at sunrise, Cinderella breaks off her slippered foot mid-calf. Gross, yes, though later other ghosts break off their shinbones with the hope of fitting the leg-and-slipper remains ("Wire or glue; you're good as new!" snaps the stepmother as she pulls off each girl's foot). Catrow's wonderfully weird pencil-and-watercolor illustrations feature wiggly lines, lurid pink and bilious green accents, large-eyed skeletons, and grotesque mutantlike creatures. The envious stepfamily conveniently shrivels to dust, which is certainly less horrible than other endings (though younger readers will still be disturbed about those broken legs). This darkly humorous and spooky variation will tickle the twisted tastes of upper-elementary and middle-school readers if it is displayed where they'll find it.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Childrens Book Watch
These new arrivals provide engaging reading for young picturebook fans. Robert San Souci's Cinderella Skeleton will reach ages 3-7 with its odd but engaging story of a ghoulish Cinderella. Kid with goodreading skills will find the rhyme engaging and the story odd enough to engross. Andrea Davis Pinkney's Let It Shine (201005-X, $20.00) tells of black women freedom fighters, and includes bright drawings by Stephen Alcorn as it relates the lives of three very different women who helped defend their rights. Good reading skills will enhance appreciation of these true stories. Janell Cannon's Crickwing (201790-9, $16.00) will reach ages 6-9 with its story of a cockroach who becomes a bully. Offend the leafcutter queen and you have a problem, he soon finds. The creator of Stellaluna provides beautiful drawings again, here. Charlotte Pomerantz's Mousery (202304-6, $16.00) will reach ages 3-7 with its two engaging mice who have no friends and no visitors until mousekins enter their lives. Kurt Cyrus' big, bright drawings are appealing in this whimsical tale. William Miller's Tituba (201897-2, $16.00) will reach ages 6-9 with the story of two Salem Village girls who accuse Tituba, a slave, of witchcraft. Good reading skills required for this picturebook story of a slave woman's dilemma.
—Childrens Book Watch
Kirkus Reviews
This fancy little piece of septet versifying works nicely as a vehicle to tell the story of the graveyard Cinderella. San Souci (Callie Ann and Mistah Bear, p. 1045, etc.) follows the original tale quite closely, substituting things from the bone orchard where appropriate: her coach is a hearse; the prince is named Charnel; her stepfamily is Skreech, Gristlene, and BonyJane; and, of course, she herself is a skeleton. Instead of simply losing her slipper at the ball, this Cinderella has her lower tibia snapped off. (Picture the prince traveling everywhere with the foot in a velvet case.) Yes, there are touches of the macabre here (each prospective bride pulls her own foot off to try on Cinderella's), but never overmuch or to the point of terrifying. And most of it is hysterically funny. San Souci's verse ultimately takes the show: "Cinderella Skeleton! / The rarest gem the world has seen! / Your gleaming skull and burnished bones, / Your teeth like polished kidney stones, / Your dampish silks and dankish hair, / There's nothing like you anywhere! / You make each day a Halloween." What a picture she makes. Catrow's (The Fungus That Ate My School, p. 474, etc.) artwork is reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas—perhaps that can't be helped when skeletons are the principals—but very much its own thing, with abundant cartoony comic licks and ghoulish creatures galore. (Picture book. 37)
From the Publisher
"Fabulous art by Catrow and clever verse by San Souci . . . this version is not for the faint of heart!"—San Francisco Chronicle

"A Cinderella story that girls and boys will love."—Publishers Weekly

[star] "Hysterically funny."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152020033
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. San Souci is a renowned storyteller whose folktale retellings include The Talking Eggs and The Faithful Friend, both Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor books. He lives in San Francisco, California.

David Catrow is a nationally syndicated political cartoonist whose honors include a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He lives in Springfield, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Great for kids

    My students loved this book. We are comparing Cinderella stories and this one is the kid's favorite so far. They are even reading it when regular work is done.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    Cinderella Skeleton... Halloween Treat!

    I'm currently watching "The Corpse Bride", and there was a scene, on a balcony, where the Corpse Bride commented on the view, and, suddenly, my mind's flying back a few years to a memory. I was sitting in my elementary school's library, and I was reading none other than "Cinderella Skeleton"! I immediately jumped onto B&N to check it out! I'm eager to buy it!

    I remember loving it when I was younger, and, as Halloween is one of the best days of the year (heck, it's Halloween season right now!), the book is ideal! It's a thrill, and a fabulously spooky twist on the classic story. Read it. Fear it. Love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2006

    Cinderella Skeleton....Foulest in the land was she.

    I have always been a fan of 'dark humor'. Being a Goth myself my taste is somewhat darker than most. And I must say... I adore this book! It is a poetic, macabre twist of the classic Cinderella story we all know and love. I have a little sister who's there's quite an age difference. About a week ago I got this book from the library and I've read it every night to her. (She's made me) It has the the right amount of dark and the perfect amount of enough light to be an ALL AGES book. Oh, and the pictures are wonderfully ghastly as well. They have so much detail. David Catrow seems how to know how to draw the spookish beauty Cinderella so well, that even her being a skeleton and all... my sister stil finds her beautiful. The point is... read the book. You won't regret it ^^

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2006

    Instant Classic

    I have to say,this book is absolutely an adorable adaptation of the classic we've all come to love so well.After all skeletons need a fairy tale as well as the living.I think the Cinderella in this particular version is absolutely enchanting.I think for the most part when we read,see,and hear of skeletons,right away we think evil,death,halloween.Its nice to read a charming fairy tale once in awhile with the most unthought of of characters.I think the author should start on his next story like sleeping beauty skeleton,or Snow white skeleton and create a line of skeleton fairy tales like cinderella skeleton.I especially like the last page where the prince and cinderella are happy at last floating in the air.My opinion is it deserves ten stars...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2005

    Lovely! A charming twist to a classic fairy tale!

    As a Children's Librarian, I thought this book was adorable! Kids love spooky stories, especially around Halloween, and this book is a perfect merging of a classic fairy tale and a spooky setting. It's truly orginial, refreshing and highly entertaining! The rhyming text is brilliant and well-thought out, and the illustrations are breathtaking. Kids will really enjoy this one, and adults will enjoy reading it to them! A perfect addition to any Halloween picture book collection!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2005

    Not for children

    This book is appalling!! I would never purchase this book! I teach Kindergarten and I would never give them this book to read. To think that someone would take an innocent fairy tale and turn it into a nightmare is disgusting!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2001

    A Real Page Turner!

    This book was really funny. Quite a different twist than the classic Cinderella stories. The descriptions in this book make everything very easy and fun to visualize.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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