{Review+Review/Design Vlog} INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt

ONCE UPON a planetoid, 
amid her tools and sprockets, 
a girl named Cinderella dreamed 
of fixing fancy rockets.
(pgs. 4-5, US Hardcover Edition)

INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA by Deborah Underwood with illustrations by Meg Hunt rivals ONCE UPON A CLOUD by Claire Keane as my favorite picture book of 2015, and both are two of my favorite overall picture books. I adore the artwork in ONCE UPON A CLOUD the most, and I adore the message in INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA the most. If you're looking for a picture book with a great, empowering message for girls about everything they're capable of doing without a guy's help, you've just found one. Mix in some fairy tales and set the story in space, and you have the perfection of INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA.

Cinderella loves to fix things, and dreams about one day fixing rockets and being a mechanic. She fixes everything that breaks in her household all by herself and loves doing so. When her family is invited to the Prince's Royal Space Parade, her wicked stepmother says that she might be able to see the show if she fixes the family's broken rocket. She leaves Cinderella stranded without her toolbox, but then her Fairy Godrobot comes to help her out. Rather than a fancy dress and glass slippers, the Fairy Godrobot knows what Cinderella really needs and wants, supplying her with a new space suit in atomic blue (laden with jewels, of course!) and a special power gem that will get her ship going again--but only until midnight! Cinderella gets to go to the parade and see all of the beautiful, wonderful starships. When the prince's royal spaceship breaks down, Cinderella is able to fix it and befriend the prince...but only until midnight. Can the sonic socket wrench Cinderella left behind help the prince find the girl capable of wielding the wrench and fixing a ship? Will Cinderella achieve her dream of becoming a chief mechanic, or be forever indentured to her evil stepmother? It all depends on if the prince can find her!

This book is SO much fun. And what a powerful message!!! Cinderella is capable of fixing things on her own--as are all girls. It reminds me of when Goldieblox did a Kickstarter to make toys for prospective girl engineers, and you can now find their toys online and in stores such as Barnes and Noble or on Amazon! I also love the message that you don't HAVE to marry a prince to get your happy ending. Making your dream come true and doing something for YOURSELF is power in its own sense, and a true Happily Ever After!

I wasn't sure what to think when I first heard about INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA. It reminded me a lot of YA novel CINDER by Marissa Meyer, so I was hesitant to pick this up. If I hadn't, I would have missed out on a wonderful story! While both books are set in space and feature a wrench-wielding Cinderella, they're vastly different in every other way. I also can't find the interview now,o f course (Google, you failed me!!), but I remember seeing an interview with Deborah Underwood where she talked about the fact that she was querying INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA about the same time that CINDER was being queried. It just takes a lot longer to bring a picture book to life and publication than it does a novel! (For one thing, PICTURES!!!) It's really cool that two very different people had completely unique ideas with the same underlying threads in a very similar time period, and I don't think either book could possibly have pulled anything from one another, so disregard that notion right now if it's preventing you from picking up this awesome title!

I also love all of the diversity in INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA!

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt

For one thing, the Prince isn't white, even though Cinderella is. How awesome is that?

(Plus, Cinderella is a REDHEAD, so win!!!)

©Deborah Underwood, Meg Hunt
For another, how awesome is it that none of the characters look traditional? One stepsister is overweight, while another is super-thin and has SHORT hair. (Plus, Cinderella is non-traditionally cute, and will resememble so many of readers! She doesn't look too old or too beautiful. Plus, her freckles! And again, red hair!!!)

Double-thumbs up to Meg Hunt for not making the artwork traditional or classically fairy tale!

I really loved and appreciated how different and fun INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA is. Even if you're "too old" for picture books and have nobody to share it with, this one is worth checking out. It's also ABSOLUTELY worth sharing with children due to its amazing message. It's very traditionally Cinderella in the ways that count, but breaks every other barrier to create a story that's fresh and new!

Here's my vlog that explores the book even further and shares some of its warmth and fun with you:

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Deborah Underwood
Illustrator: Meg Hunt
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Received: Borrowed

Once upon a planetoid
,amid her tools and sprockets,
a girl named Cinderella dreamed
of fixing fancy rockets.

With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball--but when the prince's ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.