Friday, February 14, 2014

Glass Slipper Gold Sandal A Worldwide Cinderella

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal A Worldwide Cinderella

By:  Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Published:  Henry Holt and Company 2007 

I was very excited to read this book because I absolutely love fairy and folk tales.  I love to compare versions of them and in fact it was my favorite unit when I was teaching.  This book did not disappoint and will be one that I add to that unit in the future.  

The author, Paul Fleischman has taken different versions of the classic Cinderella and woven them into one story.  Unlike other books that I have read that tell one version and then another in separate sections, this one takes pieces of the same story from different places and makes it one.  The story is very similar to one you have heard and all the different versions have the same skeleton.  There is a girl whose father marries a window.  That widow is cruel to her and keeps her from meeting the prince, who is looking for a wife.   She however, finds a way to meet him and dazzles him into looking for her when the night is over.  The prince finds her by matching her footwear to her as no one else in the kingdom can fit in them.  

Fleischman someone picks important parts of the stories from Mexico, Korea, Iraq, India, Iran, Russia, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Germany, Appalachia, Laos, Indonesia, China, Japan, France, West Indies,  and Poland.  He intertwines them to show the differences and unique qualities of the cultures as well as similarities among the stories.  
 The girl faces the same obstacles but finally "the girl was free to go, but she had nothing to wear except rags."
"Then she looked in her mothers' sewing basket."
"Then she reached into the hole in the birch tree."
"Then a crocodile swam up to the surface -- and in its mouth was a sarong made of gold...
a cloak sewn of king-fisher feathers..... a kimono red as sunset."

The text is written as one fabulous story but has some parts such as this one that might get a little confusing for the children.."And on the girl's feet appeared a pair of glass slippers.... diamond anklets...sandals of gold."  Some younger children would probably wonder how she is wearing all of those at once and may get confused by skipping around.  I think that makes this book better geared for upper grades because they can better grasp the idea that it is different versions of the same story.  I especially like that he includes an author's note explaining his book and relating the story to that of a "chameleon that changes color to match its surroundings."  This is a very accurate and intriguing way to describe what he has done with the story Cinderella.  

The illustrations in this book are vibrant full bleed representations of the different countries. The book starts out on the end pages with a map of the world and highlighting the different places that are used to create this book.  The title page also shows a picture of the world and surrounding it are the different types of shoes that Cinderella would wear in the different countries.  You immediately get an idea that this will not be a regular Cinderella story.   The first and last page are the only two that do not have a bright colored full bleed page.  They instead have a small frame with a mother and daughter reading a book, beside them is a globe probably so that the girl and her mother could look up each place as they themselves read the stories of Cinderella.  The folk style of each page shows different aspects or something that might relate to each culture.  The illustrator uses the full bleed with background art along with frames.  Each frame illustrates the actual part of the story and is used to separate the different countries. There is also small frames with the countries name written in the same color as the page.  The illustrations could lead to many discussions of things that might be in each culture.  My favorite illustration/page is the second to last page.  They are celebrating the marriage of Cinderella and the king.  In one illustration, all of the different cultures come together and they are dancing at one big party.  This page alone leads to many discussions and excitement for children as I imagine them trying to match the different parts of the illustration to the different countries.  This one page really pulls all the different aspects together to create the end piece.

I imagine this story creating interest in the different places and different Cinderella stories.  It could be a great start to a country study or research on the different versions of Cinderella.  

I found some great sites that I would use with this book.  

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