Play It Again Cinderella: A New View of Old Tales


45 pages
ISBN 1-895292-29-8
DDC 158'.1






Illustrations by Errol Lee Fullen
Reviewed by Venera Fazio

Venera Fazio is a social worker and freelance writer in Rothesay, N.B.


Once upon a time, fairy tales were a source of psychological truths and
behavioral guidelines for adults as well as children. In Play It Again
Cinderella, Jane Smith, a motivational speaker and workshop leader on
innovative approaches to self-development, returns to this tradition.
Fairy tales, if reinterpreted for today’s audience, can provide
direction for personal growth.

This slim volume contains 10 tales, most of them familiar (e.g., Snow
White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, the Princess and the Pea). The oversized
format and Victorian-style illustrations recall a traditional book of
fairy tales for children. For each tale, the author provides a summary;
then, in the voice of a modern-day godmother/general manager (GM) she
converses with the characters, challenging their behaviors. For example,
the GM encourages Snow White to develop negotiation skills rather than
passively accept the role of the dwarf’s housekeeper or the free gifts
of the disguised stepmother. Male characters, such as Jack (Jack and the
Beanstalk) and the Frog Prince, are also challenged. While each story is
unique, the author generally encourages independence, assertiveness,
honesty, and sexual equality.

Smith is playful, creative, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes
trite. Parents who wish to help their children examine fairy tales
beyond a literal interpretation will find this book helpful. Counseling
professionals and those seeking a self-help manual will be disappointed
by its lack of depth.


Smith, Jane., “Play It Again Cinderella: A New View of Old Tales,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,