Monday, January 6, 2014


Critters at the Keyboard Welcomes 


author of 


Mark will be awarding a signed eBook gift card (ePub, Mobi or MP3 audio book) to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a Grand Prize of not only the ebook giftcard signed by Mark, but a limited edition cover poster autographed by both the author and the illustrator will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Classic Stories are Color Blind
By Mark Binder

When Netflix in the USA first began running the updated Dr. Who, I was amazed that Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s companion-to-be, had a black boyfriend. I don’t mean that in a bad way, either. Here in the USA, there’s no way that a major television series would portray a blonde ex-cheerleader in a loving and non-racially charged relationship with a 20 something black man named only “Mickey.”

It was a thrilling reality check. The United States has a black President and that’s huge news, and about all in the way of progress. In the UK, diverse colors have become part of the fabric of society. We are definitely lagging.

For more than a decade, I performed my spoken-word stories for a racially diverse mix of kids in inner city Boston. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Indian Subcontinent, they were all there. The same summers I was traveling to Newport, Rhode Island, to share my work with a program for severely handicapped children. I wanted a story that would connect both groups (even though they weren’t in the same wibbly-wobbly space-time continuum).

Jack and the Beanchair didn’t work. (Hard to get a chair up and down the beanstalk.) Little Red Riding Chair almost worked, but the wheels kept getting stuck on tree roots in the woods.

Cinderella Spinderella was a perfect hit because, as the fairy godmother says, “You can’t dance in glass slippers, but a girl in a wheelchair can rock those shoes!”

When I performed the story (imagine a comedian doing a routine, except the point is the story and not getting every laugh – there’s a link to the video at I never described what Cinderella looked like. I seriously doubted they would see me, a white male, as Cinderella. I always hoped that in the minds of the listeners they would see themselves.

When it came time to make the book, we went straight to ebook, not because it was less expensive to distribute (it really isn’t), but because we could have five princes and five Cinderellas. Readers could pick what their royal pair would look like. A school could buy one book and anyone in the classroom could find his or her family.

And it works. At the beginning of the tale, you pick. Then you read the story. Later on, if you pick something different, Cinderella, the Prince and the seasons change, but the story and most of the pictures remain the same.

Maybe if we’d had the budget of Pixar or Disney, we’d have changed up every single version, but I like to think that the book that we produced reinforces the fairy godmother’s truism:
“It doesn’t matter what you look like, what matters is who you are.”

Cinderella Spinderella is a book that is fun to read, beautifully illustrated, and behind all that is the story of a young woman coming to terms with her own identity.

I hope that you and your family enjoy it.

- Mark Binder, Providence, RI, USA


Cinderella Spinderella is an illustrated ebook (and audio book) for families 

More than the dress or the shoes, Cinderella Spinderella tells the story about a young woman powerfully asserting her identity. 

"It doesn't matter what you look like… It's who you are that counts."
—The Fairy Godmother 

Winner: Moonbeam Award for Best Multicultural eBook for Children! 

The classic story of Cinderella has been modernized and urbanized in this beautifully illustrated edition, written with delightful humor and a surprising twist. 

Cinderella Spinderella uses ebook technology to allow readers to choose how Cinderella looks. Is she Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, or from the Indian subcontinent? You can pick! 

Check out some screenshots and images at the following links!

Buy links:

Kindle edition:

iBooks Edition:

Google Play:



Audio Book 




Google Play Audio:

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Mark Binder is an award-winning author and story performer and a parent. Over the past twenty years he has shared his Bed Time Story Book series with tens of thousands of readers and listeners around the world live, in print and in audio recordings. His most recent book is Cinderella Spinderella. 

Detailed bio at:


Twitter: @barkminder