Here's a blurb about the book:
A touching allegory based on the Cinderella story and Isaiah 63:1-3, Ashes to Beauty, The Real Cinderella Story is “A Fairytale for Girls of All Ages.” Written like a children’s story book and beautifully illustrated, Ashes to Beauty is filled with eternal truths about our real life Prince of Peace and our dreams come true. “Was Ella born only for dusting and dishes or was there something more? Life is ordinary in the Land of Near, but Ella dreams of the Kingdom of Far Away in this tale that speaks to the deepest heart’s desire of girls of all ages. Fairytales do come true!”
I became engrossed in this allegory upon my first read, and even more so when I sat down with my daughter to read it. She's almost 4, so a lot of the allegory and symbolism were lost on her, but she understood the gist, and I was so proud to be reading her this version of Cinderella instead of Disney's.
Girls the world over just want to be loved and thought beautiful. When my little one gets her nails painted or gets dressed up in a new dress, the first thing she wants to do is run to her Daddy and hear him say, "You're so pretty!" I loved how Kim and her husband Kary (the illustrator) depicted this internal--and often external--struggle women have. Our outward beauty is made even more so by an inner beauty, and even my little girl was able to understand that Ella's cheeks had ashes that couldn't be scrubbed off because she had harbored anger in her heart.
The Prince in the story sees beyond the outer image, and his love and her acceptance of Ella makes her pristine and beautiful, both inside and out. Come on, you know there wasn't much substance in the way Cinderella's prince singled her out at the ball. I don't want to read my daughter that story anymore, because of the emphasis put on being beautiful.
It was beautiful to see how Kim wove scriptures into the book, in particular the "The Sheep and the Goats" passage from Matthew. Our actions take on eternal significance, especially when we show kindness to the "least of these." We never know when we will reap a reward! My little girl was getting the life message that God has good things in store for her when she, in turn, gives of herself selflessly and puts things like her appearance on the back burner.
I can't wait to continue reading this to her as she grows older. It's going on my kiddo keeper shelf, along with some other great books like I Love You Forever and Someday. This is the story I want her to have on her heart, not Disney's version.
Ladies--do yourself a favor and get this book. Read it and then do someone else a favor and give it to them for Christmas. And to anyone who has a little girl, especially you, get this book.
Kim has generously agreed to give away a copy of this book. I'll enter everyone who left a comment already, but if you didn't, please do so to be entered. This would make a great gift for a young or young-at-heart girl on your Christmas list!