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Cinderella Spinderella: a fun illustrated and narrated multicultural, handicapped-accessible eBook. All ages.
Cinderella Spinderella: a fun illustrated and narrated multicultural, handicapped-accessible eBook. All ages. NOW AVAILABLE in ebook and softcover!
Click the link below to get your copy
Cinderella Spinderella: a fun illustrated and narrated multicultural, handicapped-accessible eBook. All ages. NOW AVAILABLE in ebook and softcover! Click the link below to get your copy
137 backers pledged $5,942 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Cinderella Spinderella—an illustrated urban fairy tale ebook

$5,942

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New Goal: Spanish Translation—Your contribution in the next few hours will still make a difference!

Yes, we've met our initial target, now our goal is to exceed that by 15% (or more) to fund a translation of the text into Spanish. Please make a donation of $12 or more, or pick your favorite premium and back us today!

The project funding closes at 4pm today!

The cover of the ebook!
The cover of the ebook!

It all started…

Mark writes…

I was telling stories in Newport at a camp for kids with handicaps, and that same summer I was up in Boston sharing stories with inner-city young people. What story could connect these urban and handicapped listeners?

There aren't very many classic stories that feature kids in wheelchairs, and most fairy tales don't play out in the urban streets. Little Red Riding Chair and Jack and the Beanchair almost worked, but it was a challenge getting the chair through the woods or up the beanstalk…

How about Cinderella, but with a spin…? The story was familiar, but had a nice urban grit to it. And over the years, I was always impressed that it never mattered to listeners that Cinderella was in a wheel chair!

This is a draft page from the ebook laid out for iBooks. The final will be all color...
This is a draft page from the ebook laid out for iBooks. The final will be all color...

Why an ebook?

Even though I tour the US and and give more than 100 shows a year, I can't tell the story to everybody. So we considered doing a traditional printed book. But there was a problem.

When I perform, I never described Cinderella. Listeners were allowed to paint their own pictures of her and the Prince. Usually, they imagine themselves. But as soon as we began looking at drawing her we had a challenge: what is Cinderella's ethnic background?

By making Cinderella Spinderella an ebook, readers can choose from four "seasons."

Four seasons of Eleanor
Four seasons of Eleanor

As a parent, I know that my daughter would love to hear the same story, but look at different Cinderellas in different dresses. As a teacher, this edition offers the chance to discuss issues of race and class and disability. As an author, it allows me to share a great story with a variety of audiences. And as a storyteller, it allows me to narrate and "read along."

Each season will have a different Cinderella and a different Prince, and other details will change as well. (For instance, why would Cinderella have a pumpkin in the middle of winter? She wouldn't, but she might have a giant potato…)

What other features will the ebook have?

  • It will be available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad (iBooks) and Droid. If you have another suggestion, please let us know.
  • There will be an audio narration track.
  • There will be four seasons with four different versions of Cinderella and the Prince. We are currently planning on limiting ourselves to Black, White, Hispanic and Asian.
  • It will be full-color and fun to read!

What age(s) is this ebook for?

Mark likes to say he writes and tells stories for all ages, and that's certainly true of Cinderella Spinderella. That said, the story is appropriate for and can be read-aloud by a parent (or narrated by the author) to PK and K, it can be read with children grades 1-2, and can be read alone by children grades 3 and up.

What premiums are we offering?

Kind people who back our project will be able to choose from…

  • Advance copy of the ebook (for whatever platform you use)
  • AUTOGRAPHED LIMITED EDITION copy of the ebook
  • Thank you postcards
  • Autographed posters
  • A printout of one season of the book
  • A Skype bedtime story
  • An interpretation of your face in the ballroom scene
  • Your portrait on the wall of the Royal Portrait Hall of Fame
  • A command performance of Cinderella Spinderella
  • And many more (as we come up with them)
Your picture can be part of the ebook! You'll be on the Royal Wall -- and get a signed copy.
Your picture can be part of the ebook! You'll be on the Royal Wall -- and get a signed copy.

Are there differences between the spoken story and an ebook?

Absolutely. For one thing, when I perform a story, I haven't memorized a script. I'm telling you what happened, and that may change. Also, stories adjust based on the audience. In the video below, I'm telling what is supposed to be a story for little kids at an urban high school. It's amazing how the familiarity of the story allows everyone to connect and relate.


About the team

Mark Binder is an award-winning author and storyteller. He has published more than a dozen books, hundreds of short stories, and recorded six albums. His collection, The Bed Time Story Book has sold more than 60,000 copies in seven editions. He tours the United States sharing his books and spoken-word stories with audiences of all ages.

Steve Mardo is an illustrator from Rhode Island who has studied at the SVA in New York and has B.F.A. in illustration from MassArt in Boston. His work has been shown at various galleries in the New England area and his prints have a current home at 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA. Steve has also been commissioned to to do work for organizations like the American Breast Cancer Society and magazines like the Northeastern University Alumni Magazine as well as local Rhode Island publications. He also has a graphic novel in the works and currently lives in the woods of South County with his wife Tanya.

Risks and challenges

We are currently working full-steam on the project. Your funding will help us devote as much time as possible to meet our deadlines—and keep our families happy, warm and well-fed. We anticipate that the illustrations will be completed by the end of May, with advance copies available in August for a September Release.

The biggest challenge will be getting the word out about the book, and this campaign is one way that we are starting to spread that word. We intend to use whatever funds raised beyond our operating costs to publicize and promote the ebook. Our goals? New York Times, Today Show, O Network, World Tour and more...

Finally, some people could find the multicultural tone of this work upsetting or offensive. Even in the 21st Century, some people will find the idea of a black Cinderella and a white Prince or a Hispanic Cinderella and an Asian Prince offensive.

The purpose of this book is to literally show that these lines are invisible. Just as Cinderella is not limited by her wheelchair, she is not limited by the color of her skin. And the Prince is able to see her for the beauty that she is, regardless of whether or not she is wearing a ball gown and glass slippers, or dressed in rags.

When we are confronted with people who are offended, our challenge will be to keep the conversation open and to cross those boundaries.

If we excessively exceed our funding we plan on adding the following as the budget expands:

- Audio recording of the story as spoken (in contrast to an audio book).
- Multiple choices for Cinderella and the Prince, (up to 16 options!) so you could have a White Cinderella with an Asian Prince or a Hispanic Cinderella with a Black prince. This is, we'll admit, a long shot and will very much depend on support beyond the $5,000 we've asked for.
- More seasons and shades. We know that we've limited this to four very broad groups. We'd like to add other Cinderellas, and will be taking suggestions.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    KIND SOUL. A grateful thank you!! Every dollar matters. Your contribution makes a difference. And yes! you'll get your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    AVID READER: You'll receive an advance ebook, and be listed as in the credits and acknowledgements. You can KEEP the ebook, or GIVE IT AS A GIFT for your child, grandchild, a friend, or your school.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    CITIZEN: You'll get a SIGNED limited-edition ebook, a THANK YOU postcard, and be listed as in the credits. You can keep the ebook, or give it as a gift for your child, grandchild, a friend, or your school.

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    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    ROMANTIC: On Valentine's day, we'll tweet your romantic message from you to your loved one care of #Spinderella! The message will be listed in the credits. You'll also get a signed copy of the ebook when it's done.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    KING'S GUARD:
    You'll receive an AUTOGRAPHED POSTER of the Cinderella Spinderella cover shipped to your home.

    Plus: You'll get also get the signed limited-edition ebook, a thank you postcard, and be listed as in the credits.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    CLASSY INSTITUTION: You will receive an ebook license for an entire school classroom or library! Teachers can give copies to parents or put it on classroom devices/computers. Librarians may install it onto as many digital readers as you have for your system. Plus you'll get an autographed poster and name listed in credits. BONUS: discussion guide will be included!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    COLLECTOR: You will get a PERSONALIZED and SIGNED ebook. We've figured out how to personalize ebooks! You'll tell us who to inscribe it to after the campaign closes.

    You'll also get a thank you postcard and your name listed in the credits. NOTE: ONLY Merchants will get the signed AND autographed ebook. Everyone else will get the signed limited edition ebook.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    NOBLE PATRON OF THE ARTS: You are so kind and generous, but want little in return. You'll get the signed limited edition of the ebook, a thank you and the poster. You can donate as much as you like. Thanks!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    GOOD KNIGHT and GOOD DAY: Mark will read the story (via Skype) to you and your family or to you and your classroom! Plus: the autographed poster, the personalized and autographed ebook, and the thank you note. And be listed in the credits.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    BAKER BACKER: In case you don't know it, Mark bakes amazing breads. You'll get a fresh-baked loaf of bread Fedexed to you! (Plus you'll get the poster, thank-you, autographed ebook and listing in the credits.)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    COURTIER: You'll get one of Steve Mardo's original signed sketches from the book development process. And you'll also get the poster, autographed ebook, thank you and name in the credits.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    TROUBADOUR: Mark will come to your school or library and give a performance for up to 200 people! This is an opportunity for a school, PTO, or library to schedule a presentation at a deep discount. Program will be appropriate to age of the audience. Great for reading week, author visits, or holiday times. The presentation can take place any time in the next 12 months, depending on scheduling and calendars. IRS mileage costs will apply outside Rhode Island, and for events to far to drive up and back in a day there will be an additional fee. Also, if you'd like to book more than one for that day, we'll work something out...

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    DANCER AT THE BALL:
    A caricature or illustration of your face (or a family member) will be included in the dance hall. (Note, we'll need a release form for this.)

    Plus: the autographed poster, the autographed ebook, and the thank you note. And be listed in the credits.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ROYAL HOUSEHOLD—

    Your picture will be featured as a portrait in the Royal Portrait Hall of Fame. (based on a photograph you send us). You will also receive a printed copy of the portrait autographed by the Illustrator and Author, suitable for framing.

    Plus: the autographed poster, the autographed ebook, and the thank you note. And be listed in the credits.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ROYAL FAMILY: Mark will come and visit your school or other organization, share stories for a day, sign postcards for all the children and adults and donate unlimited copies of the ebook to the school and student body.

    Note: Additional travel expenses may apply for events outside of MA, RI and CT.

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    Pledge $5,555 or more About $5,555

    THE IMPERIAL REWARD: NAME OR PRODUCT PLACEMENT: We'll figure out some way of dropping your name or product into the ebook narrative. Yes, it's shameless commercialism, but if you're willing to kick in $5,555 or more, we'll do it! And you'll get a genuine hand-written thank you note, poster and autographed copy of the ebook.

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Funding period

- (27 days)