Cinderstella: A Tale of Planets Not Princes by Brenda S. Miles and Susan D. Sweet with illustrations by Valeria Docampo (Magination Press, 2016) is an updated take on a classic. Currently, we are seeing a huge shift in picture books that promote strong female protagonists who don’t need a prince or anyone else to come and save them. We have strong willed girls who are perfectly capable of determining their own destiny and that is what we have in Cinderstella.
This story follows the same premise of a young girl, Cinderstella who lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters. She is forced to take care of all of their needs and then when there is time her own. Cinderstella has plans of her own though, she isn’t waiting for some prince to come and rescue her, she is too fond of her telescope and calculations to give up her interstellar dreams. Cinderstella even has a fairy godmother who is convinced she wants all the usual things: a lovely gown, glass slippers and carriage; but not our smart girl.
In this book, you will find something different entirely, Cinderstella is quite inclusive and includes her step-sisters in her interstellar adventures. In doing so she showed her step-sisters a world of possibilities.
Another component to the fantastic books published by Magination Press is that they offer notes to their readers with ways to offer support for families to encourage children to find interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). They offer suggestions for parents, teachers and caregivers to use this book to foster conversations about STEM, talk about interests and goals and what it means to dream BIG!
A huge thank you to Valeria Docampo for permission to use her incredible images, they are absolutely stunning. As we read this story last night my petites, kept oh-ing and ah-ing at the illustrations. They both immediately after reading declared they wanted to read more books about space, look through a telescope and make a planet mobile just like Cinderstella. So in one simple read, this book became a Petite Stag Favorite for inspiring my petites to dream big, desire to learn more and engage with the text in a meaningful way.