Today’s guest blog post is a review of Cinderella’s Sister and the Big Bad Wolf, written by Lorraine Carey and illustrated by Migy Blanco, which comes to us from Sally Doran, who contacted us on Twitter to tell us how much she’d enjoyed the book.
There is a little known fact about the Ugly sisters – there are actually three, yes, three of them! And well might it be a secret! Mrs. Ugly and her family have tried their very hardest to keep the youngest of their clan a closely guarded secret. Gertie has a perpetually sunny disposition of which Mrs. Ugly is deeply ashamed. And forget everything you have ever heard about Cinderella – by all accounts she is thoroughly lazy and a nasty piece of work! For all her complaining, you are far more likely to see little Gertie feeding the mice and watering the pumpkins and Cinderella putting her feet up and painting her nails.
Gertie’s lack of resemblance to any members of her family, leads her to being excluded from an invitation to the Palace Ball. She pleads with Mrs. Ugly to allow her to go and tries to convince her that she is, deep down, an Ugly sister, just like the others. Mrs. Ugly agrees on one condition; that she trains to be a REAL Ugly sister. For this, she is sent to study under a number of truly wicked villains including the nastiest baddie of all – the Big Bad Wolf.
But it’s no good. Gertie is simply incapable of being bad and proceeds to foil all the baddies’ plans at the most crucial moments. The result is that Gertie puts an untimely end to the baddies’ most evil and murderous plots and Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood trot off into the sunset, unscathed.
Just as young Gertie looks likely to be the wolf’s next meal, something rather unlikely happens. Our eponymous villain, it turns out, has a desperate hankering to attend a ball. In return for being taken off the menu, Gertie agrees to try and get them both to the ball. The pair race home to find the Uglys have already left! Is all hope lost?…Of course it isn’t! This is a fairytale after all and no fairytale worth its salt allows its sweet-natured and kind heroine to be disappointed. Enter our thoroughly modern Fairy Godmother – phew! What a relief! But what’s this? Cinderella! Where did she come from? Could she dash the pair’s plan at the last minute? Not likely! Thankfully our snappily dressed Fairy Godmother is a supremely good judge of character and swiftly turns the little madam into a mouse.
Order restored, our plucky pair finally gets to go to the ball in two new and very fancy dresses. Hooray!
This is a simply BEAUTIFUL picture book – a laugh-out-loud tale with bold, exquisite illustrations. The tale is wonderfully funny – playfully combining old fairytale favourites with new characters – and whips along at a brilliant pace.
And the illustrations…I loved everything about Migy Blanco’s illustrations, EVERYTHING! From Gertie’s orange beret to the subtle nod to Disney’s colour pallet for the principal heroines. Each page-spread is stunning with a delicious and heady mix of colour and clever detail.
But what would my young friend think about it? Well, her bag was groaning with books when she came to stay and this was the top choice every time. At one point it was requested four times in a row – she was totally absorbed by it. And her favourite page? Pretty much any page featuring the Big Bad Wolf!
With an ending to rival any good fairytale and its unconventional (and potentially controversial!) way of portraying Cinderella as a bit of a brat, I think it might have actually made my top three. I can’t wait for the next offering from this very successful partnership. I’m off to buy myself an orange beret!
Thank you very much for sharing your review, Sally! If you’ve read one of our books with children and would like to write a blog about it, please get in touch – send an email tom nosycrow com. You can take a look inside Cinderella’s Sister and the Big Bad Wolf below: