A Worldwide Cinderella
Reviewed May 21, 2008.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2007. 32 pages.
We all realize that there are versions of the story of Cinderella from all over the world. In this delightful book, Paul Fleischman takes bits from many different versions and weaves them into one tale. Illustrator Julie Paschkis uses folk art motifs from the different countries to decorate the story perfectly.
For example, here's a two-page spread with bits of the tale from Russia, Iran, India, and Ireland:
But when the girl was out tending the cattle, the beasts heard her crying for hunger. "Don't weep," said one of the cows. And the animal poured honey for her from its horn . . .
. . . and a fairy gave her figs and apricots . . .
. . . and Godfather Snake gave her rice.
Once she was eating well and proper, the girl bloomed into a right rare beauty. The stepmother couldn't fathom it. And meanwhile her own sour-faced daughters would curdle the milk if they looked at it twice.
This book is perfect for introducing children to the concept of different versions of familiar tales. But it's also simply fun to read and enjoy. And enlightening to see how the different versions reflect the different cultures.
A beautiful book.