Sunday, February 20, 2011

I've read the story to my daughter 100 times, but never looked deeper into the meaning of Cinderella. Looking the name up (Cinderella) I found that it means "one whose attributes are unrecognized, or one who achieves recognition or success after a period of neglect." Who would have thought??

This particular rendition begins with the front cover of the book. It has this deep red color that definitely sets the book off from the rest. The title is written in black bold letters with the note "A worldwide Cinderella" which I now understand the meaning.

Each page that the author, Paul Fleishman, writes a bit of the story on has an illustration that is depicted in the country written in the corner of the page. For instance, the words "Mexico" is written on the first page, left corner. The story is told in a similar variation that we've heard before, but the illustration is of the couple from Mexico (as if Cinderella is a Mexican princess). On each page the author moved through the story (that we've heard), but the illustration depicts many different cultures such as those in Zimbabwe, Appalachia, Indonesia, Japan, West Indies, Iraq, Poland, Ireland, China, France, Iraq, and Korea. In fact, when you open the cover of the book a map of all of these places is labeled. Now I know why this map was placed in this book. This is definitely different than the typical story of Cinderella I've read in the past.

I like this story because it opened up my mind to the idea that the United States isn't the only place in the world to tell this story to their children. It shows you how closed minded you can be even over the simplest things such as the story of Cinderella. I'm assuming it is true for the rest of the Disney stories like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc...

I enjoyed the colors and illustrations throughout the book. Lots of deep reds, oranges, yellows, and greens are used. I think the use of these colors really set off the pictures. The pages are covered with illustrations of the various countries as if the author wanted you to believe that the background is part of your "idea" of the country depicted in the main picture.

Now I'm excited to find other variations of this story. Plus, I figured out what the title means....Glass slipper (like the original story we all know here in the states, and Gold Sandal (as others may interpret the shoe that Cinderella needs to fit in).


  1. I was interested to find out the meaning of the name Cinderella that you had found. For some reason, I always thought she was named Cinderella (as a nickname almost) because she slept among the cinders. I cannot recall where I heard this idea from. It is interesting to know that the name has much more meaning behind it than I had originally thought. I agree that this story does open up the mind into realizing how many different versions of the same tale there are. It emphasizes how important it is to share many versions with children in order to give them a wide-view of the world's diversity instead of a narrow-view which we sometimes do without realization.

  2. I was also surprised to read the meaning behind the name Cinderella.

    This book does a nice job of connecting people around the world. It certainly lends itself well to all of us that we have more things in common than one might think.