Books Literatura Europa Picture Books Reading Themes

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece


Fats here.

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.


The Orphan
(A Cinderella Story from Greece)

Written by Anthony L. Manna & Soula Mitakidou
Illustrated by Giselle Potter
Published by Schwartz & Wade Books (2011)
ISBN-10: 0375866914
ISBN-13: 978-0375866913
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!

1 comment on “The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece

  1. I like the idea for this story – I will have to check it out! 🙂


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