Saturday, September 26, 2009

Traditional Literature: Cendrillion: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci

1. Bibliographic data :
San Souci, Robert D.. Cendrillon: A Caribean Cinderella. Illustration by Brain Pinkney. Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 1998. ISBN: 0-689-84888-9

2. Brief plot summary
Cendrillion takes us into the “Cinderella” story through the eyes of the “godmother”. The story starts out with a young girl whose mother leaves her a wand of mahogany before she dies. Growing up, she never found anyone to use the wand on. Later in life, she becomes a poor washerwoman who befriends a sickly woman who has just had a daughter. Before the mother dies, she names her godmother of her little girl. The girl grows up to be a beautiful young lady, with a stepmother and stepsister that make her their maid. When it is time for the ball, Cendrillion’s godmother finally finds a use for the wand her mother had given her. The drawback on the wand is that it only last for a short amount of time which means they must leave the ball by midnight. The “prince” must try finding her through the slipper that she left at the ball.

3. Critical analysis:
Cendrillion is a wonderful tale of a young girl’s constant optimism and the caring godmother that is always watching out for her. Although the approach to the story is different beacuse we see it from the godmother’s point of view, this classic story still grabs at your heart. Love is still the center of the plot as “happily ever after” sums up the story. Bringing in the French Creole language and the colorful artwork brings life to the story and will make it a favorite of many students. The beautiful illustrations inspire you to take a closer look at the artwork. The illustrator was able to put so much emotion into each the facial expression. Cendrillion is a book for all libraries for the young and the old alike.

4. Review excerpts:
a. Booklist: “Particularly vibrant, oth in it medldious language and its spirited art…A vital rendition of an old favorite.
b. School Library Journal: “ An outstanding Cinderella variant for any collection.”
c. Awards:
i. An ALA Notable Collection
ii. A Booklist Editors’ Choice

5. Connections
a. Related Books:
Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition by J.R. Coburn
Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci
b. Activities:
Students could use “Cinderella” in projects that are focused on the different cultures. They could also compare and contrast different “Cinderella” stories and then show present the information to the class in a PowerPoint presentation. In a World Cultures class, the different versions of Cinderella would be a great way to start a unit.

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