A Selection of Cinderella Picture Book Retellings

One of my children is currently obsessed with Cinderella, and the others are willing to go along with it, so I’m looking up variants to share. The ones I list are mostly those that I’ve read and enjoyed myself, with a few that look fun thrown in. I’ve checked our local library for most of them, but some I could only find on Amazon at this point–the pub dates may be off because of it. There are TONS of Cinderella retellings in chapter book and adult book format, but I stuck to picture books this time, since that’s what level we are at for family reading right now.

The Egyptian Cinderella
By Shirley Climo
Illustrated by Ruth Heller
1989
I loved reading this version as a kid–it must be from the Ptolemaic period, because Rhodopes, the Cinderella figure, is a Greek slave. Apparently, Climo has done Cinderella retellings from several other cultures. I would recommend checking any of these out, because she does a wonderful job with this one.

Princess Furball
Retold by Charlotte Huck
Illustrated by Anita Lobel
1994
A variant on the well-known, glass slipper version, this one involves 3 (I believe? It’s been awhile, and our local library doesn’t have it!) dresses and a fur coat.

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
Retold by Ai-Ling Louie
Illustrated by Ed Young
1982
Another one that I’ve loved since childhood; it has a fish for a fairy godmother, and Ed Young’s illustrations let you search for the fish in each page.

Cindy-Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella
By Susan Lowell
Illustrated by Jane Manning
2000
I know I’ve read this wild west version, but it wasn’t one that stayed with me. Still, I remember it being fun, and I think most kids will enjoy it.

The Rough-Face Girl
By Rafe Martin
Illustrated by David Shannon
An Algonquian version, also with great pictures, and has a nice ending if you like the sisters to get what’s coming to them (don’t worry, it’s perfectly kid-friendly).
1992

Cinderella
Retold and illustrated by Barbara McClintock, from the Charles Perrault version
2005
Haven’t read this one, but it looks like a nice updated retelling of Perrault (see the 1955 version below) that I will be looking for.

Cinder-elly
By Frances Minters
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
1994
Haven’t read this version, but it’s supposed to be a rap, and our library has it, so I will be requesting it!

Cinderella, or, The Little Glass Slipper
By Charles Perrault
Translated and Illustrated by Marcia Brown
1955
This won the Caldecott Medal in 1955 and, despite showing its age (particularly in its length!), it’s a good basic retelling of the well-known French version. Just don’t let kids choose it for their bedtime selection if you are in a hurry for them to go to sleep!

Cinderella = Cenicienta
By Charles Perrault
Adapted by Francesc Boada
Illustrated by Monse Fransoy
This bilingual edition has the story in both Spanish and English, and while I don’t read Spanish (I can somewhat pronounce it, but it doesn’t flow), my children enjoyed this version quite well.

Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella
by Robert D. San Souci
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
1998
Another one that I’ve read and remember enjoying, but don’t remember too many other details. The Creole background might appeal to those who also enjoyed Disney’s Princess and the Frog.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
By John Steptoe
1987
This one is amazing. There are no balls, but both Nyasha (the Cinderella figure) and her sister Manyara have to undertake a magical journey. It won a 1988 Caldecott Honor, and I happen to like it better than the actual medal winner for that year. (In case you’re wondering, the winner was Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr, also very good! Just not my favorite.)

My list seems pretty dated, so when I have the chance (you know, either in about 20 years, or when I get a paying librarian gig again) I will try to find some more recently published Cinderella stories.

A couple other lists, for those who want even more Cinderella:

ALA has a Multicultural Cinderella Stories list: http://www.ala.org/offices/resources/multicultural

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a nice list of Cinderella variants: http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/books/showbooklist.cfm?list=cinderella

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No TV week–update

So far, the no TV week has gone much more smoothly than I expected! I was probably the one closest to caving–my kids seemed to accept that, once we had declared it to be a no TV day, that was the last word on the subject. Here’s a quick summary of our experiences.

Daily Activities:

  • Monday: We visited a city park that was new to us and turned out to have a playground that was just right for my children’s current ages. That afternoon, we cleaned off our screen porch and porch furniture and had dinner outside. 
  • Tuesday: Thanks to spring break for schools and the beautiful, we had a playdate with neighbors from down the street. In the evening, our dinner was a “popcorn, hot chocolate, and PBJ” party.
  • Wednesday: I had to be the least creative for this day; we always go to storytime at the library on Wednesday mornings. I had a church knitting night that evening, so we had dinner a little early and I got to go knit and visit!
  • Thursday: Spirits were somewhat dampened by the rain, but we had pancakes for breakfast (thanks to Dad), the kids helped me vacuum some, and went out to the mall that evening.
  • Friday: We were supposed to have a friend over, but that was sadly cancelled due to illness. We’ve pretty much just hung around the house. My oldest and I finished reading “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” together, and now it’s naptime.

Joys:

  • I’ve gotten more reading done in the evenings, because I haven’t watched TV. Shock!
  • It doesn’t actually take that much creativity to keep kids happy–just some dedicated time and willingness to not get things done on a particular schedule. I already “knew” this, but it was fun to actually experience. For example, they loved helping clean off the porch. While it took longer and might not be as clean as if I had stuck them in front of a video while I cleaned, we all did something together, and then we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor by eating dinner out on the porch once we finished.

Challenges:

  • Dinner that requires actual cooking is still hard to do. It’s a confluence of kids being crazy, me being tired, all of us being hungry, and an activity that actually needs my attention.
  • I had one day where I hadn’t gotten my shower before my husband left, and I often use TV when this is the case. I succeeded without (kids assigned to separate couches with piles of books to look at), but a day where I plan on no TV probably needs to be a day where I roll out of bed earlier.
  • I like to watch TV, too! I’ve recently discovered the abbreviated series Firefly, and I’m eager to watch the rest, to the point where I’ve been daydreaming about how a librarian could be of use on Serenity. (Sadly, I don’t think I’d make it. Aside from all the dangerous parts, they need a hacker more than a reference librarian–Shepherd Book and Simon had the ready reference question on bizarre marriage customs covered.) But I’ve survived, and, as noted above, I got to read more because of it.

Going Forward:

I don’t think we’ll do a no-TV week again right now, but I do plan to cut down on the number of days in an average week where we are watching. I think choosing 2-4 days per week to designate as “no TV” days will work without too much trouble, so that’s what I’m going to try next.

Library Books Enjoyed–4/3/13

Every week we go to the library on Wednesday for storytime and to check out books. Usually there are at least one or two book finds that are worth sharing. I post reviews on Goodreads, so I’ll generally just share Goodreads reviews here.

I Am Too Absolutely Small for SchoolI Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that, while I picked them up reluctantly at first, I have come to love Charlie and Lola. They are completely different from my kids, but ring true as children–and the two siblings obviously like each other, which I always find refreshing in a children’s book, even though I think it happens more than I give the children’s lit world credit for. As with any series that has found commercial acclaim, the original installments by the actual author are the best, so I was thrilled to happen upon one that I hadn’t read before that is really, truly written by Lauren Child.

Lola is not so sure she’s ready to go to school (not entirely unlike my oldest, who starts kindergarten this fall), but her big brother Charlie convinces her that it’s a good idea. That’s basically the plot, but it’s told with the charm that Lola and Charlie bring to any situation and, with the addition of an invisible friend that you can find in the pictures if you look right, it was a hit with our whole family.
Have You Seen My Dinosaur?Have You Seen My Dinosaur? by Jon Surgal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute story of a little boy determined to find his dinosaur, despite the incompetence and disbelief of all the grown-ups around him. The rhyme and rhythm are sometimes not quite flowing, but the story is fun to read even so. My kids loved that they could find the dinosaur when the grown-ups in the story couldn’t, and that they got to help the boy at the end.

View all my reviews

Baking Tip: Vanilla

I learned last night that you can substitute ground vanilla (recent family birthday present) for vanilla extract, using half as much ground vanilla as extract. While researching this, I also learned that if you just happen to be out of vanilla extract, you can substitute the same amount of maple syrup.

Turn off the TV (DVD, Netflix, etc.) week – Day One (Monday)

We have not had a TV for about 4 years now–we never had cable, and when the broadcast TV service switched from analog to digital, we never made the switch. (We did get a converter box, but for some reason it did not work…could have been my and my husband’s lack of mechanical expertise, could have been patchy service…either way, it didn’t work!) We haven’t missed it much–I would have liked to watch the Olympics last summer, but that’s about the only time I’ve missed our television.

This is not to say that we do not watch TV. We have a Netflix subscription, a decently large collection of DVDs, and we make use of Hulu, PBS, and other network sites to watch TV. We also check out DVDs from our public library and my husband’s university library. In general, I allow my kids to watch about a half an hour of TV a day, and I watch about 5 hours a week, between watching films and watching TV series. It is probably too much.

Taking time off from TV was my husband’s idea, and he proposed a month. It was a good idea, but I did not think I could go that long. So we are starting with a week. I hope that after this week, we can adjust our schedule so that we are not watching something every day. The hardest parts of this for me will be a) managing the after naps/before dinner crazy time of day, which is normal TV watching time and b) cutting out my own watching, which usually happens during the end-of-the-day collapse after the kids are in bed.

We are only on day one, so we will see how it goes. Today, we have the help of good weather–we’ve already visited a new-to-us city park with a pretty fun playground, and will head outside again after naps for a little bit. We also have playtime with friends scheduled for tomorrow and Friday, so those will also help.

I should note that this will not actually be a full week. We are attending a wedding on Saturday without children, and I do not believe in leaving a babysitter without the option of TV time.

Here we go!

Trying out blogging again.

I’ve had a blog for quite awhile–first to update friends in Georgia of my time in library school, then it morphed into different things. I used it for class assignments, reflections on work/life balance, book reviews–but it never really jelled. I’ve held off for awhile on trying again, partly because I wanted to focus on other kinds of writing. This fall and winter, however, I completely fell off the writing train, and I’m experimenting with blogging as a way to get back.

We’ll see where this goes–I’m starting with our no TV week, because it’s something happening right now that seems blog-worthy.

I’m a stay-at-home mom who’s worked as a teacher (a very short career) and a librarian, so books and kids are my two ongoing day-to-day encounters. I’m also a Christian, and my faith is a very important part of my life–hopefully that will also show through in my posts.