Old Treasure: Cinderella

Front Cover Cinderella

This 6 1/2 inch by 8 1/4 inch copy of Cinderella has been mine for as long as I can remember. I think it belonged to my father before me. It’s a Wonder Books edition retold by Evelyn Andreas with illustrations by Ruth Ives, copyright 1954. The title page and inside front cover are decorated with “letters” drawn in blue ballpoint ink—probably they are my handiwork, but possibly my father’s.

She Did Her Best to Make Them Beautiful

I can remember poring over this book for hours as a girl. I was fascinated by the rich, velvety illustrations, which were different from the prevailing and still ubiquitous Disney Cinderella images. I used to wonder what exactly made the stepsisters look ugly.

"I am you fairy godmother."

Also, I used to try to decide who was more beautiful—Cinderella or her fairy godmother, with her green chiffon gown and tiny ankles. The fairy’s yellow hair and wings were captivating.

The Mice Became Six Prancing White Horses

Even the horses were beautiful, and I was a big fan of horses—especially magical white ones.

Magnificent Ballgown of Golden Silk

But the piece de resistance, to my young heart, was the golden gown of silk that Cinderella wore. She is so glamorous and dainty.

At the Ball

Of course, the Prince falls madly in love with her, forsaking all of his other guests at the ball. “Indeed, Cinderella and the Prince were the handsomest couple on the dance floor. And the Prince never left Cinderella’s side.”

The Clock Struck Midnight

Cinderella flees at the first note of twelve midnight, but it is too late. The coach, footmen, and horses vanish and she walks home alone. (The little rock was holding the book open for me.)

The Prince himself goes door to door looking for his beloved, and although they try, Cinderella’s stepsisters cannot fit the sole glass slipper Cinderella had left behind on the palace steps. Cinderella shyly asks to try the slipper on. I am glad she asks for herself.

Happily Ever After

I used to gaze at this illustration a lot, too. The page begins with “A great wedding was held.” Why don’t we get to see the wedding, I wondered. How genteel that they are dining in the woods, except—they have no food. They are completely absorbed in each other. This was what “happily ever after” meant to me.

The inside back cover advertises over 150 wonderful Wonder Books, with washable covers and “new, long-life binding.” The binding on my book holding up pretty well; the spine is broken, however, and I can see the stitching. The book’s price when new was 29¢. I think whoever bought this book would be pleased. We got our money’s worth, I think.

Old Treasure: Beauty and the Beast


We have had this lovely book for several years now. I found it at the used bookstore for just a few dollars and I’m so happy to own it! It’s Beauty and the Beast, by Marie LePrince de Beaumont and it is illustrated by Hilary Knight. I absolutely adore the illustrations! They are elegant, vivid, and clean, full of flowing lines and organic shapes. I’m no art historian, but I think they may be reminiscent of Art Deco graphics. I am mesmerized by all the bird and feather motifs throughout the book. Beauty looks rather like Audrey Hepburn.

MacMillan published this 10- by 13-inch book in 1963. I don’t know if this is a first printing or subsequent one. The book was printed in Italy and was previously owned by Gary Dorville, whoever he may be.

Beauty's Merchant Father Says Good-Bye

Beauty says good-bye to her merchant father. Her sisters want him to return with sumptuous gifts. Beauty reluctantly asks only for a rose.

"... a Beast so horrible that he nearly fainted."

“Therewith he heard a great noise and saw coming toward him a Beast so horrible that he nearly fainted.”

Beauty Meets Beast

“Beauty could not keep from trembling when she saw its horrible face; but she mustered her courage as best she could, and when the monster asked her if she had come of her own accord, she answered, trembling, that she had.”

"Do you not find me hideously ugly?"

“There are many men who are more monstrous than you,” Beauty said, “and I like you better, with the face you have, than those who beneath a human countenance conceal a false, corrupt, ungrateful heart.”

Beast Is Transformed

Beauty’s life with her husband “was a long and happy one, because it was established upon virtue.”

I’m going to look for other books from this MacMillan series, but those listed on the back cover of this book aren’t illustrated by Hilary Knight.

Glory Be to the Internet! It seems Mr. Knight is most famous for his illustration of the Eloise books. From what I have seen online, none of his other illustration work looks at all like this.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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