Ashpet: An Appalachian Tale

Joanne Compton, Author, Kenn Compton, Illustrator
Joanne Compton, Author, Kenn Compton, Illustrator Holiday House $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1106-1
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In this capably handled hillbilly version of Cinderella , with elements borrowed from the Grimm Brothers' ``Aschenputtel,'' a servant girl charms a doctor's son. ``Fresh-faced and regular-featured'' Ashpet is ``bound out'' to the Widow Hooper and her two daughters. When company stops by, Ashpet's employers, jealous of her looks, hide her under a washtub (the hem of her sackcloth dress sticks out from under it like a cat's tail). But Ashpet's kind-heartedness never flags, and her generosity toward their ``peculiar'' neighbor, Granny, pays off. When the Hoopers go off to an important church meeting, Granny magically cleans the house and provides Ashpet with a pretty red calico dress and red shoes. The rest is fairy-tale history. Joanne Compton dots the tale with ``backwoods'' lingo (``Jes' you fetch me out some fire''), while Kenn Compton opts for an artistic approach that's both subtler and more effective than that of the couple's debut, Granny Greenteeth and the Noise in the Night ; gangly Ashpet and her beau are goofy but not overbearingly so, and shucks, they're kinda cute. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
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