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Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Last updated Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Author: Paul Fleishman
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 080507953X
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2010

Synopsis: Capitalizing on the frequently made assertion that Cinderella is the most widely told folktale on earth, Fleischman and Paschkis have created a pan-cultural, universally pleasing interweaving of variants from 17 distinct cultures. This clever books reads nearly seamlessly and somehow manages to convey simultaneously the essential sameness of the story and the particularities of the different versions. Dressing for the royal shindig, our heroine, "…looked in her mother's sewing basket (Laos). Then she reached into the hole in the birch tree (Russia). Then a crocodile swam up to the surface—and in its mouth was a sarong made of gold (Indonesia)…a cloak sewn of kingfisher feathers (China)…a kimono red as sunset (Japan)." Paschkis's backgrounds to the text and gouache illustrations alert readers to the shifts in locale by the use of color-coding and of folk-art design motifs drawn from each culture until the final scene where costumes, dances, music, and cuisines from across the globe convene at a wedding so wondrous "that people today are still telling the story." Endings don't get any happier than in this global tour de force.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Note to readers:
•  Read the Author’s Note in the beginning. Let the children know the story of “Cinderella” is told in many countries, in many languages. If you want, use the world globe in the class and point out the countries mentioned in the book.
•  pan dulce—sugarcane, a Mexican dessert
•  widow
•  scorpion
•  fathom
•  curdle
•  sarong

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know the story of Cinderella? What is the story?
•  What part does a “glass slipper” play in the story?
•  What about a “gold sandal’?
•  During the picture walk, have the children guess what country the picture is from. (The answer is written on the bottom of the page.)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  How is the story the same as you first heard it?
•  How is the story different from how you first heard it? Have you ever heard the story told differently from the Disney movie ‘Cinderella”?
•  How do stories spread from person to person; country to country?
•  How would you spread a story today? (internet, youtube; twitter; tv; radio; movies; books…)

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a Cinderella from a place you wish to visit—make sure to include the different clothing, shoes, animals and food in your drawing. What would Cinderella wear in Hawaii? China? Alaska? Mexico? In the Ocean? For added fun, use the world globe in the classroom. Twirl the globe and have the children close their eyes. Have them point to a place on the globe/map and make them draw Cinderella from that country/place. Help them draw the clothing, animals by telling them how people dress in that location—hot weather, cold, colorful etc…
•  Have the children create a fairy tale themselves. Begin with, “Once upon a time, ……” After them complete their story, have them tell their story to others in the classroom and at home and have those people spread it to others….

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!