As you may already know, we at GatheringBooks love fairy tale retellings, no matter the genre. Today I’m sharing a picture book that I borrowed for our theme, Literatura Europa. If you like the story of Cinderella, you might want to borrow your own copy.
(A Cinderella Story from Greece)
Written by Anthony L. Manna & Soula Mitakidou
Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Published by Schwartz & Wade Books (2011)
Copy provided by Orrville Public Library.
About The Orphan (Taken from Random House): Once upon a time in Greece, fate left a young girl an orphan. Her stepmother was so hateful that she counted every drop of water the orphan drank! But with the help of Nature’s blessings, the orphan was showered with gifts: brilliance from the Sun, beauty from the Moon, gracefulness from the Dawn—and even a tiny pair of blue shoes from the Sea. When the prince comes to visit their village, he only has eyes for the mysterious beauty.
My Thoughts on the Book: This Cinderella retelling offers a simpler version of the tale, more folk- than magic-inspired. The female protagonist is unnamed, and referred only as the girl (and later, the orphan) in the story. There is no fairy godmother, only a mother who loved her daughter very much and practical gifts bestowed by Nature. There is no grand ball, either. The book has a slightly religious theme, as depicted by the prince attending church service in the small village. I like how this reverses the situation, in which the prince himself comes to the village instead of the villagers going to the palace. It is worth noting that the orphan in the story portrays a more independent and resolute version of Cinderella. The Orphan would be a wonderful addition to any fairy tale collection.
In case you missed it…
Check out other retellings of Cinderella that we have featured on GatheringBooks!
- The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci and Jerry Pinkney
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson and Kevin O’Malley
- Cinder-Elly by Frances Minters and G. Brian Karas
- The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin and David Shannon
- Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie and Ed Young
- Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, Tzexa Cherta Lee, and Anne Sibley O’Brien
- Cinderella by Kveta Pacovska
- Cinderhazel: The Cinderella of Halloween by Deborah Nourse Lattimore
- Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci and David Catrow
- The Golden Sandal by Rebecca Hickox and Will Hillenbrand
- Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale by Steve Guarnaccia
- Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story by Lynn Roberts and David Roberts
- Ella’s Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella by Shirley Hughes
- Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
- Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and Eddie Flotte