Cinderella retold by Cynthia Rylant

“This is a story about darkness and light, about sorrow and joy, about something lost and something found. This is a story about Love. ” (page 1, Walt Disney’s Cinderella )

Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite authors, and one I frequently rely on for great mentor texts. When I saw that she had retold Walt Disney’s Cinderella with illustration by Mary Blair, I knew I had to read it. The book does not disappoint.

This is the traditional, Disney version of Cinderella. However, Rylant has put her trademarks of beautiful language and deft storytelling on this edition. The story is gorgeous. Though you already know what happens, you can’t help but to keep turning the pages. And I noted so many spots that I can’t want to point out to my students. It is just a gorgeous book!

Mary Blair’s illustrations are also awe-inspiring. Blair was one of Walt Disney’s most brilliant conceptual designers, defining the look of classic Disney films like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. She spent 34 years working as an artist for Disney. Her illustrations are immediately call to mind the classic Disney films that she helped create. Each page is full of large brush strokes, gorgeous backgrounds, and complementary colors. There were many pages that I wish I could have as a print to hang in my home! (If you click on the link, you can search inside the book on Amazon. It’s not the same as viewing them in person, but you get a good feel for the mood the illustrations set).

This is a purchase I am very glad I made. In fact, I can imagine sharing this beautiful book with my own children someday. It’s just that wonderful and classic!

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

I don’t review a lot of picture books, despite using many in my reading and writing mini-lessons. However, when I received a review copy of Cynthia Rylant’s new book, Snow, I was thrilled. Rylant is one of my favorite authors and her books are both gorgeous as stand-alones plus they serve as wonderful mentor and touchstone texts.

Snow is no different. The illustrations, by Lauren Stringer, are wonderful and evoke a feeling of home and warm nights spent by the fire. And Rylant’s poetry/prose is wonderful. I have a hard time putting into words how I feel while reading her books, so I will leave you with a few quotes:

The best snow is the snow that comes softly in the night, like a shy friend afraid to knock…

p. 1

Some snows fall only lightly, just enough to ake you notice the delicate limbs of trees, the light falling from the lamppost, a sparrow’s small feet.

p.9

Gorgeous, isn’t it? Rylant is a gifted writer and Snow is a welcome addition to my classroom library. I can already foresee using it in my poetry unit, in my non-fiction unit (focusing on one topic and writing beautifully about it), and in small-moment stories.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,593 other followers