Friday 27 March 2015

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 27th March 2015 - "Very Little Cinderella" by Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap (Random House)

Very Little Cinderella

Written by Teresa Heapy

Illustrated by Sue Heap

Published by Random House

Putting a new spin on classic fairy tales isn't easy, and a lot of people give them a bit of a dust and polish without bringing anything new to the table. You definitely cannot say that about Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap's "Very Little" series, and this is the second book that has had us simultaneously guffawing like goons and hugging ourselves with glee at just how durned great it is.

"Very Little Cinderella" starts off with tiddler Cinders 'cleaning up the house' (which, as any parent of a toddler will tell you, means making ten times more mess than they created in the first place). Very Little Cinderella's very big (but not very ugly) Ugly Sisters aren't too impressed with the cleaning attempts, but as VLC snaffles a snack biscuit they have more news.

"We are going to a party!" they proclaim.

Very Little Cinderella wants to party too, but she's going to be looked after by a special babysitter, The Fairy Godmother (who I think I've got a bit of a book crush on. She's CUTE!)

Very Little Cinderella is determined that she wants to sneak off to the party instead of helping clean up the house, so with a little magic and the world's greatest selection of dresses ("This is my best bit!" said Charlotte, falling instantly in love with the Pearly Dress), the plan is afoot. Gatecrash the party but be back home before the clock strikes 12 and the magic runs out.

After a weeny tantrum about what to wear (this is a bit where I laughed, then realised I was laughing about something Charlotte drives us both mad with EVERY TIME WE HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE!) and a quick change of transport (who needs a pumpkin coach when you've got a big blue scooter, yay!) it's off to the party to do dancing and making friends.

As the clock strikes 12 and the Fairy Godmother scoops up Very Little Cinderella to head for home, VLC realises she's lost her very favourite yellow (sorry, I mean LELLO!) boot.

She's inconsolable. No amount of biccies or boots will brighten Cinders' glumness. But wait, who's that at the door? A very little Prince (and his mum) with the missing boot! HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY!

After a bit of a bootswap (again this is so brilliantly observer, why do kids always want to swap shoes?) and a play date, Very Little Cinderella and Very Little Prince Charming become firm friends, dawwww bless their little lello and spotted boots!

We loved this - and now bedtime has become a two-book juggling act between Very Little Cinderella and Very Little Red Riding Hood (we were very pleased to see "Foxy" make a cameo appearance in Very Little Cinderella, Sue managed to work him into one of the book's lovely illustration panels). We truly can't wait for the next book in the series (which at the time of writing is almost finished, and we're allowed to tell you that it's going to be Very Little Sleeping Beauty - Teresa's awesome sons who were at the book signing told us it was OK to say so!)

Charlotte's best bit: The choosing of the special party dress. I thought the 'neat' dress was ace, but Charlotte couldn't resist the shiny dress.

Daddy's Favourite bit: Brilliantly funny, acutely well observed, fantastically illustrated, a super-treat from Heapy and Heap!

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Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap