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Book Review: Cinderella Spinderella by Mark Binder, storyteller

Updated on February 8, 2015

The major changes

In Cinderella Spinderella, Storyteller Mark Binder manages to update and add diversity to this old fairy tale without said diversity usurping the story—a rare feat. He does this in two ways. The first is to have multiple editions of the story, i.e. different versions for different racial/ethnic groups. Neither the book, nor the press release for the book, ever mentions color. Instead the press release shows various illustrations (done by Steve Mardo) of Cinderella and the Prince over the words Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Monsoon. The purchaser can order whichever one he or she wants. But the second way, the more interesting way to my thinking, is what the word Spinderella refers to—a wheelchair.

In this modern retelling, Cinderella loses her mother and her ability to walk to an automobile accident. This disability works well in the tale of put-upon Cinderella, as she has to drag herself up and down, to and from the cellar. The ugly stepsisters are there, going out of their way to make Cinderella’s life one of overwork and misery. (They are also pretty mean to each other.) The father and stepmother are both dead.

But Cinderella is still the same girl we love

Despite her troubles, and with nowhere to go but this house she shares with her stepsisters, Cinderella strives to be what she was taught to be. In the words of her mother, “Remember who you are. Be kind and do your best.” Lest one think that Cinderella is a doormat, gentle reader, she eventually insists upon being called by her real name.

The little variations that occur due to bringing the story into a modern era and what happens to the stepsisters, I will leave to those who pick up this book and read it. I will say they are quite entertaining. For more information on how to obtain Cinderella Spinderella, go to The book is published by Light Publications.


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