Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cinderella-Don't Stop with Disney!

Cinderella is a universal theme: a sweet young girl, who is giving and compassionate, put into a demeaning position and with the help of magic or her own resources and intelligence triumphs in the end.  There are three types of Cinderella stories: the classic Cinderella story based on the Charles Perrault story, The Little Glass Slipper, the multi-cultural Cinderella stories coming from many different countries and the entertaining stories telling the Cinderella story with a twist.  The first of these types are usually retold with illustrations in mind.  The story is already known, but each illustrator puts on their own unique spin.  The second type, some of my favorites, allow children to compare how similar and different Cinderella stories are from many different cultures. The third type, sometimes called fractured, provide many interesting and entertaining stories that could inspire someone to write their own version of Cinderella.

Some of my favorites in each category:
The Little Glass Slipper
Cinderella by K. Y. Craft  --breathtaking illustrations inspired by the lavish styles of 17th and 18th century France make this one of my favorite versions of Cinderella. Check out other books this author has illustrated including King Midas and the Golden Touch and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
Cinderella by Ruth Sanderson -- With beautiful, detailed illustrations this story integrates aspects of both the Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm versions of Cinderella.
Cinderella by Barbara McClintock -- Set in France during the reign of King Louis the XIV, exquisite attention is given to both the dress and architecture of the time. Look for Cinderella's little grey cat hiding on each page.  Winner of the Golden Kite Award given by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. 

(Can you tell I like opulent versions of Cinderella?)
Multi-Cultural Cinderella

Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo --  one of the first known Cinderella stories. Tells the story of Rodophis, a greek girl stolen by pirates and sold into slavery in Egypt.  Based on fact and fiction, the story follows the traditional Cinderella story line, but what is fact is that a Greek slave girl married Pharaoh Amasis around 570 B.C. and became his queen.
Rough-Faced Girl by Rafe Martin-- a Native American Cinderella story where the Rough-Faced Girl triumphs by looking to nature.  Beautiful illustrations.  One of my kids' and my favorites!
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe -- An African Cinderella story that won a Caldacott Honor for its illustrations. Another one of my favorites!
Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo -- Originally a story from The Arabian Nights. A pari, or fairy, helps Settareh to win the prince. 
Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo -- This retelling is based on three different variations of Korean Cinderella stories.

Cinderella with a Twist or Fractured Cinderellas
Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson- a funny engaging story about two very different neighbors, Cinderella and Cinder Edna, who wish for two very different types of princes.
Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck- a unique retelling with beautiful muted illustrations.  Princess Furball runs away from a father who wants to marry her to an ogre.  She takes refuge as a maid in another castle.  Using three magic objects -- left to her by her mother-- and her resourcefulness; she wins the hand of the prince.

Traditional and multi-cultural Cinderella stories can be found at the library under the non-fiction section 398.2 -- folk and fairytale books. Fractured Cinderella books are in the picture book section under the author's last name. This lovely website categorizes Cinderella picture books by traditional, multicultural, and fractured.

One last note: My boys love the multi-cultural and fractured Cinderella stories just as much as my daughter!
What's your favorite Cinderella story?

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