cover image Cinderella of the Nile

Cinderella of the Nile

Beverley Naidoo, illus. by Marjan Vafaeian. Tiny Owl, $17.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-910328-29-3

The ancient Mediterranean slave trade drives the plot of this 2,000-year-old legend retold by Naidoo. A girl named Rhodopis (Greek for “rosy-cheeked”) is celebrated for her beauty, but pirates know that “a girl like this could be sold for a fat bag of silver coins.” Like a river, Rhodopis’s story rolls by many things: a sojourn with the owner of the legendary field slave Aesop—who tells her a fable of trees and reeds, emphasizing that because the reeds bend, they do not break—and a place with a Greek merchant who treats her like a daughter, sparking the jealousy of his Egyptian servants (three malicious sisters). From here, the parallels with “Cinderella” emerge, as a slipper stolen by Horus the falcon god unites Rhodopis and the Pharaoh. Vafaeian’s richly hued and intricately detailed folk-style illustrations offer a visual counterpoint to a complex tale. Ages 7–11. [em](Jul.) [/em]