Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella

Paul Fleischman, Author, Julie Paschkis, Illustrator , illus. by Julie Paschkis. Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-7953-1

Beneath its handsome William Morris–like cover art, this inspired retelling blends many versions of Cinderella into a single, extraordinary tale. As Newbery Medalist Fleischman's (Joyful Noise ) strong storytelling voice incorporates sometimes small details from different traditions, text and illustrations nimbly morph from one Cinderella story to the next, creating this brand-new version. Paschkis (Yellow Elephant ) makes use of folk art and textile patterns throughout the world in the clever background paintings behind each of her vibrant panel illustrations, and she helpfully and unobtrusively labels the country from which relevant borrowings originate. Generally, each page focuses on a single country's contributions, but even when details from several countries share a spread, visual harmony prevails and characters remain recognizable despite their costume changes. When Cinderella has nothing to wear, for example, “a crocodile swam up to the surface—and in its mouth was a sarong made of gold [Indonesia]... a cloak sewn of kingfisher feathers [China]... a kimono red as sunset [Japan].” Even the last line of text is patched from several sources: “Such a wedding it was, and such an adoring couple [Iraq]... and such a wondrous turn of events [Korea]... that people today are still telling the story.” Paschkis emphasizes the storyteller's voice by beginning and ending the narrative with illustrations of a mother reading to her daughter—a daughter who, appropriately, looks much like Cinderella herself.Ages 5-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/03/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
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