Ensor, Barbara

views updated

Ensor, Barbara


Children: two. Education: Attended Brown University.


Home and office—Brooklyn, NY. E-mail—[email protected].


Illustrator and writer. Worked previously as a puppeteer.


Paul Trapido, Don't Even Think of Parking Here!: The New York City Guide to Parking and Driving, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1986.

Cinderella (As If You Did'nt Already Know the Story), Schwartz & Wade Books (New York, NY), 2006.


Barbara Ensor was raised in London, England, is a graduate of Brown University, and also has a distinctive background as a former puppeteer. As an author and illustrator, she has established a unique career as a writer by penning children's titles that reweave traditional fairy tales into a story with a contemporary spin. Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story), for instance, frames the classic fairy tale from a third-person point of view by telling it via Cinderella's diary letters to her deceased mother. Cinderella's letters detail her daily struggles and express the distress the young woman experiences with her new stepmother and stepsisters. Not surprisingly, Ensor's version of Cinder-

ella does not end in the traditional happy-ever-after fashion; she adds to the story by describing the young woman's life after marriage to the prince. By story's end, Cinderella is happily wedded and has grown from a helpless damsel in distress to a powerful politician working to reshape her kingdom.

Ensor's text for Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story) is accompanied by her original cut-paper silhouettes, which Amy Krouse Rosenthal described in the New York Times Book Review as "the perfect visual solution." The black-and-white silhouettes separate Ensor's text "into manageable chunks, making this tale suitable for reluctant readers" noted a Kirkus Reviews critic. Susan Riley, reviewing the book for School Library Journal, described Ensor's version of the well-known fable as a tale that will "please girls who like undemanding and familiar stories with a twist," while Rosenthal dubbed it "light and playful yet fairy-tale-ish."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, July-August, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story), p. 495.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story), p. 456.

New York Times Book Review, September 10, 2006, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, review of Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story), p. L18.

School Library Journal, July, 2006, Susan Riley, review of Cinderella (As If You Didn't Already Know the Story), p. 100.


Barbara Ensor Home Page,http://www.barbaraensor.com (April 28, 2007).