An Irish Cinderella Story
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Another version of the Cinderella story, this one based on a traditional Irish folktale. Three daughters, Fair, Brown, and Trembling, live with their father in a castle in the beautiful Irish countryside. Trembling, the most beautiful of the daughters, is forced to stay at home to cook and clean by her domineering older sisters, Fair and Brown. One Sunday morning, an old henwife comes into the castle's kitchen, outfits Trembling in a beautiful long white dress, and sends her along to church on a horse she has just conjured up. The henwife warns Trembling not to actually go inside the church and to jump on the horse and ride away as fast as she can the minute the service ends. Trembling causes quite a sensation among the people—she charms all of the men and evokes envy from the women, who are jealous of her beauty and her gorgeous clothes. After Trembling's third visit to the church, just as she is dashing away on her snow-white horse, the Prince of Emania pulls off one of Trembling's elegant blue slippers. The Prince and many other princes who have traveled from other parts of Ireland and from as far away as Africa to propose to Trembling, travel the country looking for the woman for whom the shoe will be a perfect fit. The prince finally finds Trembling and, after fighting off all the competing princes, claims her for his wife. They have 14 children and live happily ever after. The two sisters, by the way, are put out to sea on a barrel, a punishment that seems a tad on the harsh side considering that the sisters are mean rather than actually evil or cruel. The illustrations feature elongated, attenuated figures with indistinct, blurry faces that children may find rather inaccessible and off-putting. An interesting, although somewhat cold and flat retelling of the familiar story, this tale will perhaps be of more interest to students comparing versions of archetypal fairy tales than to the children for whom it is intended. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-32247-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"