Cover image for Cinderella's dress
Cinderella's dress
Willard, Nancy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Blue Sky Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Although mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella meets her prince with the help of two magpies and her fairy godmother.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 71278.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.9 2 Quiz: 33814 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Cinderella. English.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clearfield Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Collins Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Crane Branch Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Dudley Branch Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Eden Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Anna M. Reinstein Library PZ8.W655 CI 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



Magic happens when Newbery Medalist Nancy Willard and best-selling illustrator Jane Dyer combine talents in an imaginative retelling of this best-loved fairy tale, focusing on the ever-popular dress.

With Nancy Willard's characteristic verbal wit and Jane Dyer's beautiful, detailed paintings, this charming book will be irresistible to young girls who know the Cinderella story and love it. In this version, two magpies who live outside Cinderella's window make her a magnificent dress from bits of shiny paper they've collected. The jealous stepsisters rip it apart, and Cinderella is left in rags--until thanks to her friends the magpies she finds a magic ring belonging to her late mother. Her fairy godmother appears, and a new dress, a coach made of a pumpkin, and happy endings follow.

Author Notes

Nancy Willard was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 26, 1936. She received a bachelor's degree in 1958 and a Ph.D in 1963 from the University of Michigan and a master's degree from Stanford University. She taught at Vassar College in the English department from 1965 until 2012. She published more than 70 books during her lifetime including collections of poetry, children's books, collections of short stories, novels, essays, and criticism. In 1982, she received the Newbery Medal for A Visit to William Blake's Inn. She died from natural causes on February 19, 2017 at the age of 80.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 2. Two magpies take the downtrodden Cinderella under their wings in this age-old tale given an unusual, rhyming twist by Newbery-medallist Willard. The magpies, who nest outside Cinderella's house, have collected so many objects that "shimmer, dream, and shine" that when their beloved "featherless," adopted daughter needs a ball gown, they craft an ephemeral masterpiece. Just before the ball, Cinderella's stepsisters destroy its papery beauty and leave her lamenting over a lost ring left to her by her mother: "Hammered from fairy gold, / this simple band can change your fate." The magpie, that has hoarded this very ring for years, is dismayed, but once it's returned, Cinderella's fairy godmother appears to give her a gorgeous, nonpaper dress, and the rest is happily ever after. Willard varies her rhyming patterns throughout, making for a challenging read-aloud session, but the story is softened by Dyer's delicate watercolors, which strike a lovely note. An original, if not the most accessible, addition to the sea of Cinderella stories. --Karin Snelson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lilting poetry and a couple of warm-hearted magpies add a new dimension to the familiar tale. In a tree outside Cinderella's window, two birds confer about the lonely girl inside, their plan captured in Willard's (A Visit to William Blake's Inn) deft verse: "She lights the stove and draws the water./ Her father's weak, her mother's dead./ Nobody tucks her into bed./ This stepsister they love to hate,/ let's make her our adopted daughter." Dyer's (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes) watercolors revel in a fairy-tale mix of eras and objects; Cinderella's cruel stepmother wears a two-horned medieval headdress, but there's a bicycle parked outside the door. When the famous invitation arrives, the magpies craft Cinderella a magnificent dress from tissue, leaves, petals and loot from their nest; the magpie mamma withholds only a golden ring she wears on her tail. But the stepsisters ruin the dress, and Cinderella cries, "If only I hadn't lost the ring/ Mother gave me before she died./ She said `Hammered from fairy gold,/ this simple band can change your fate.' " Mamma magpie, dismayed, realizes that her ring is really Cinderella's, and her decision to return it ushers in the reversal of the girl's fortunes. Omitting the scenes at the ball, the story's focus shifts away from courtship and romance, and instead considers the tenets of friendship. Dyer's art and Willard's poetry seem entwined; it's a graceful match, likely to cast its spell on fairy-tale fans. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-It's all about the dress, in this retelling of the familiar tale. Who will actually make it, how will it be created, and what kind of gown will it be? Prior to the entrance of Cinderella's fairy godmother, two magpies observe the girl's harsh treatment from the tree outside her family's home and vow to make her their adopted daughter. Their talents include creating beautiful things from their well-stocked nest of treasures, everything from shiny paper scraps to squares of pretty lace. The birds also possess one cherished prize, a gold ring, which as it turns out was "hammered from fairy gold" and given to Cinderella by her mother before her death. When the ball invitation arrives, the birds secretly craft an exquisite gown for her, but her ill-favored stepsisters handle it until it rips to shreds. The magpies then learn that Cinderella is the owner of their treasured ring and return it in time for her to make a wish and be rewarded by her fairy godmother. Willard has focused on a detail of the traditional story and expanded it into a yarn of its own. The descriptive rhyming text is uneven in places but reflective of the enchanting mood. Muted watercolors bring out the whimsy and fanciful spirit of the story. Overall, however, both the text and the art of this unconventional spin on the tale seem to get bogged down in the window dressing and lack the tension or emotional resonance of a memorable offering.-Rita Soltan, Oakland University, Rochester, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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