from Netgalley

If the Shoe Fits - Deborah Guarino

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cinderella might be the most popular fairy tale in the world. It seems as if each culture has its own version, there are the off shoots such as Coat of Many Furs, there are movies and more movies, the character appears in I don’t know how many books. There is even a short novel told from the viewpoint of one the transformed rats.

So, do we really need another Cinderella story?

Well, we do need If the Shoe Fits, so it’s a yes.

This short children’s book focuses on the shoemaker who created those glass slippers. The fairy godmother turns to him because her magic is temporally depleted. You try creating a dress, coach, horses, and entourage without getting tired. What then enfolds is actually a story about what love really is.

The shoemaker Murray is caught between what the love of his life truly desires and what he wants – to marry the love of his life. That is really what this child’s book is about - what love is. The thing about some Cinderella stories, the Disney cartoon in particular, is the question about love – would you want your daughter to marry some dude she dances with just once. And before everyone starts with the “but it is a fairy tale and it means”- I know. Okay?

But in the hands of Guarino and Hippen, love takes center stage. Murray is totally motivated by love; the choices he makes are based on his love for Mona who really wants to marry a prince. It really is a wonderful story about what love means.

Hippen’s illustrations are the right balance of whimsey and realism.

It’s sweet.