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
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.
Retold by Charlotte Huck
Illustrated by Anita Lobel
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
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
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).
Retold and illustrated by Barbara McClintock, from the Charles Perrault version
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.
By Frances Minters
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
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
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
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
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