Right across from my university there was a teacher supply store. I went by there about once a month or so and would pick up a resource as I had money. One resource I wanted, but never picked up was a Cinderella Around the World Unit Study. It was for upper elementary and I thought it looked like the most awesome resource ever. A few weeks ago (when I first started writing this, I’m writing as I find more books), my kids noticed there are a whole lot of different Cinderella books as we read a Persian Cinderella. This led me off on a tangent as my kids exchanged glances because our geography lesson was derailed and it headed me off talking about different book lists and the study of fairy tales.
No really, there are people who study fairy tales and track how each tale relates to others.
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Here is a great spine book for your Cinderella Around the World Unit
This book took components present in pretty much every version of the story and made it into an amplified version (which that joke is really only funny if you look at Bible translation jokes, and out of context I’m probably the only one laughing. Sorry, not sorry, and now Six is running through my head).
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella– This book combines as many of the tales together to create one UBER tale, and with each switch to a new version the story identifies where the book is from
Here is my caveat
There are a bunch of fractured fairy tale versions of Cinderella. I chose not to include them, so the only versions of Cinderella Around the World I am including are the stories that seem actually original to the time and location, and not a “let’s take the Cinderella story and spin it into a Texas story.”
Yes, there is a Texas Cinderella, I forget if she wanted to go to the rodeo or a barn-raising.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there will be no Cinderella Big Foot, though my library did have that book.
Maybe some day I’ll do a fractured fairy tale and fairy tale retellings for Cinderella. I could include Cinder Edna, and Cinderlad.
Cinderella in Africa
Okay, so I’m writing this as I go through my stack of Cinderella books I grabbed from the library a few days ago, but I already wrote down what I wanted to say on some books in Asia, so this is going to be just a little weird
- Egyptian Cinderella–
- Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters– Someone just reminded me of this story and I had totally forgotten about it, in this story a father is trying to decide between two daughters, so it doesn’t truly follow the Cinderella tropes, but it does end with the kind daughter being rewarded
Cinderella in Asia
We are just now starting our study of Asia, so most of these we haven’t really read much of yet, I just grabbed them off the shelves as I saw Cinderella in the title.
- Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella– this was an interesting twist, the mother to start out isn’t dead. If you can find this book, I highly recommend it.
- The Persian Cinderella– I loved this particular version, and once I started putting together this post I discovered the author had a whole series of these, so you’ll see this author a lot, but this is her first Cinderella version I found
- The Golden Sandal– This book started the whole idea as the kids suddenly went, “Wait, we’ve heard so many variations on this”
- The Gift of the Crocodile: a Cinderella Story– I can’t wait to read this one when I find it at the library, instead of a normal fairy godmother, it’s a crocodile when she calls out for help
Cinderella in Europe
Cinderella is not a Grimm Fairy Tale, it’s officially credited to Charles Perrault in Europe and was published in the 1700s.
Yes, I like fairy tales.
- Cinderella illustrated by K.V. Craft- I tried every way to look this up on Amazon and could not do it, it kept trying to give me Cinderella crafts, but if you can find this in a book store, the illustrations are gorgeous
- The Irish Cinderlad– This is a very different take on the Cinderella story, and primarily has the shoe in common with the other stories. It feels more like a Jack story or maybe one with the youngest child being smarter… It’s part of the Shirley Climo series
- Cinderella: or the little glass slipper– Theoretically this is the quintessential European version, written by Charles Perrault himself, in theory the original author, this particular rendition is a Caldecott winner
- The Orphan: A Cinderella story from Greece– I recognize the illustration style, but haven’t read this one yet
- The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Jewish Cinderella– How did I miss this book when we were studying Poland? The plot of this one reminds me of King Lear in Shakespeare
- Raisel’s Riddle– I must find this book
Cinderella in North America
There are not as many for North America, or I should say, I know there are a few Native American stories that I read in the Blue Fairy book, but I can’t find a picture book version of those yet.
Emphasis on yet.
Though, it is an ever so slightly different version, as I recall there was something about a bear coat or slippers?
It’s been decades since I read it.
- Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella– according to my library, this is set in New Mexico, we read it during our New Mexico Unit, and this particular rendition really focuses on how nice she is and how generous she is.
- Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella– another San Souci book, and another Caldecott winner. I mainly remember enjoying the illustrations, and the sweetness of her character
- Adelita– a Mexican Cinderella, and it’s illustrated by Tomi DePaola! But this one changes up the story with her leaving behind a shawl instead of a shoe.
Some more great learning ideas
I’m a big fan of fairy tales, so I went with some fairy tale related, and since the Perrault story is French, my France book list.