Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: Elly and the Smelly Sneaker by Leslie Gorin

by Leslie Gorin
Illustrated by Lesley Vamos
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8
40 pages

Elly has everything a girl could desire: bonbons, pretty clothes, maids to put everything in order, and a family that treats her like a princess. Except that, to her, life’s a boring, royal pain. All Elly really wants is to be with other kids—especially when they play baseball. She dreams of opening days, double plays, and joining the team. Then, one day, her fairy godfather arrives to make her wish come true. Will Elly FINALLY succeed in trading her glass slippers for a pair of smelly sneakers? A fun and inspiring twist on Cinderella that’s just right for today’s girls.


Take Cinderella's plight, flip it upside-down, and out comes a delightful tale which is hard not to love. 

Elly has the life of a true princess. Her step-mother and step-sisters coddle, primp and adore her. But Elly isn't into all those things like dresses, cakes and teas. She wants to head outside and join the baseball scene.

This book is simply a ton of smiles and fun. Elly is a princess. . .at least, her life is. But her heart is that of an average kid, who wants to run, play and have not always ladylike fun. It's a tale which hits modern day girls right on, and encourages them to step out of their everyday mold and chase those dreams. . . even if the dreams don't match the ideals of everyone else. Throw in a pair of smelly sneakers to replace those glass slippers, and it's obvious which fit better to a day of excitement and adventure.

The illustrations are a treat and bring the tale to life. There are funny details hidden throughout, which will have kids going back to find them. There's a nice balance between text and picture, allowing the story to unfold from both sides.

The words and text easily roll off the tongue, making it a joy to read-aloud. There are word plays peppered throughout the entire book, some which won't necessarily be picked up by young listeners right away. But adults need to have their fun too. Plus, clever kids will grab these up and are sure to point them out. 

Summed up, this is a wonderful twist on a beloved fairy tale, which fits perfectly to those modern day princesses, who might not be so princessy after all. My own daughter loved it and kept it by her bed, flipping through it again and again and again.

All about the author. . .

Before she became an author, Leslie Gorin taught on a Navajo reservation and attended film school to become an animator. But she preferred writing, and her stories and articles have appeared in such places as Highlights for Children, Spider, Hopscotch, National Public Radio, and the anthology New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family (Reclaiming Judaism). She is the author of Bertie Wings It! (Sterling), and her awards include a Disney Fellowship, a Luce Scholarship, a grant from the Highlights Foundation, and Runner-up for the 2014 SCBWI Barbara Karlin Work-in-Progress grant for picture book texts. Leslie lives in Eagle, ID. Learn more about her at

All about the Illustrator. . .

Lesley Vamos studied at the college of Fine Arts in Australia, receiving a Distinction and Animation Honor in a Bachelor of Digital Media. Since graduating, Vamos has spent her time traveling, doodling, learning, meeting like-minded creatives, as well as experiencing as many facets of the creative industry as she can. Lesley has illustrated many books in Australia, as well as Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery for FSG (October 2016). Leslie lives in Sydney, Australia. Learn more about her at

No comments: