Today I received my first book review, for my kid’s book
CENDRILLON, The True Story of Cinderella
The reviewer is from Reader’s Favorites a website that reviews books.
I have included the review, plus my response.
At the end is a link to the online review.
Thanks Readers Favorites (check them out.)
Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers’ Favorite
Happily, the writing was mostly error-free and easy to follow since it was simply written and everyone loves a Cinderella story. What really made this version appealing was that it was pitched as “a world exclusive” and the real story of Cinderella, which parallels the well-known fairy tale. What is supposed to make this story unique is that readers are asked to believe it was written by Cinderella (Cendrillon) herself, in correspondence to her son, and the true story. What I hoped for and expected was more from the letters than just the author’s word that he was translating them. Was there a letter where his mother addressed Prince William directly and told him she was writing her story? Where are the citations? The photo is great, but where is the source reference? A photo of the letters or the royal seal would have gone a long way towards making this seem authentic.
As a translation, authentic language for that period would have helped, and the speaker should have always been Queen Cendrillon; however, there were lines in the story that seemed like an author’s aside rather than something that would have been included in the original letters. Most of the time, there was no way to tell what was translation and what was the author inserting his thoughts into the translation. At one point, the author says he did some of his own research and came up with a possible explanation for the fairy godmother — this was a very interesting addition to the story, but again, it is misplaced if readers are supposed to be getting a translation. Cendrillon clearly thought her experience was all magical, so though the author’s research lends credibility to the story and gives a logical explanation to readers, the “truth” is that the author’s gives a logical explanation to readers, the “truth” is that the author’s research is speculation.
The biggest problem is that this story is pitched as belonging to the real Cinderella, but no proof is provided — as is, it’s just a retelling. Some
facts that are supposed to lend credibility may be off, too, as with the reference to the fast moving plague, which wasn’t really so much a factor
(and certainly not new) by the 8th century. And this Cinderella story is pre-dated by the Egyptian version by several centuries.
There has to be something different to make this story work, but just saying it’s different only makes the reader feel cheated.
Reviewer, remember this is just for fun. It’s the true story only so much as those involved in publishing claim it to be.
I meant it to be more fun and less serious or scholarly, than perhaps you found it.
That was proved when the narrator interrupts the story for comment.
Thanks for reading it. I had a lot of fun writing it.
[For the most part, most of my work, whether writing, music, art, or other ideas, gets a similar response of “it’s not what is usually done, it’s not what is expected, Why is it different? And I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t get it.]
SEE REVIEW ONLINE AT READERS FAVORITES
What was most amazing
was that upon investigation
it was found that these letters
were positive proof
that the Cinderella story
the fairy tale,
was a factual event,
history, the truth!