Baron, D., Kinberg, S., & Shearmur, A. (producers) & Branagh, K. (director). (2015). Cinderella [motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Pictures.
In this remake of the classic tale, a kind and courageous Cinderella overcomes the cruelty of her stepmother to attend the prince’s ball.
This film is magnificent. The story is true to the original 1950 Disney movie, yet has an added complexity, contemporary interpretation, and a sense of humour. Cinderella is not merely a maiden in distress, the stepmother is not inexplicably wicked, and the prince faces a dilemma between country and love.
Beyond the storyline, the visual aspects of this film are breathtaking. The costumes are opulent and stunning. The scenery is alluring. The special affects are impressive.
Viewers young and old will enjoy this classic story retold. It is fresh and, to be frank, lovely. This film is a solid 5 out of 5.
Riordan, R. (2010). The Red Pyramid. New York: Hyperion Books
Carter and Sadie Kane have only seen each other two days a year ever since their mother died 6 years ago. Sadie was sent to live with her grandparents in London, while Carter travelled the world with their father, an Egyptologist. All of that changes, however, when their father blows up the Rosetta Stone, summoning 5 ancient Egyptian gods. Now Carter and Sadie must team up to figure out how to save their family and the world, finding out that they aren’t two ordinary kids.
This book is excellent. It is evidently well researched, but presented in an exciting and engaging way that is as far away from a history textbook as possible. The characters are sassy and likeable, the plot is fast-paced, and readers are likely to get sucked in from the first sentence.
The length of this book (514 pages) may be a deterrent to some young readers. Yet the story is so captivating that it shouldn’t take them too long to overcome the length of the book. It is also a great book for children to read with their parents, who will get as much out of the story as their kids. Because of the length and the ages of the protagonists (Carter is 14, and Sadie is 12), this is likely a book for older children, ages 10 and up.
While a fantasy book, this story is set in the 21st century and is filled with cultural references, making the magic all the more realistic, leaving readers looking for Egyptian gods and goddess everywhere. Overall, this book is undoubtedly a 5 out of 5!