Saturday, April 30, 2016

The golden sandal : A Middle Eastern Cinderella story by Rebecca Hickox illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

"Maha worked from sunup to sunset but each day increased her beauty inside and out.  Her stepsister, on the other hand, grew selfish and mean ... "

Later this year I am planning to read some fairy tales with our classes and I hope to include fairy tale stories from other cultures.  The Golden Sandal is a perfect example. This is not a new book.  It was originally published in 1998 but we have a new copy for our library.

This Cinderella story comes from Iraq.  Maha's widowed fisherman father marries a neighbour.  She is kind to begin with but soon turns nasty.  Early in the story Maha rescues a small red fish from the basket she has collected from her father.

"Allah says a kindness never goes unrewarded. 
Call for me anytime and ask what you will."

You may have guessed it is this fish that takes the role of fairy godmother.  Maha longs to go to a special party for the bride of the merchant.  The fish gives Maha a silken gown, a pearl comb and pair of golden sandals. As she rushes home one sandal falls into the river.  It is found by Tariq, brother of the bride.  Tariq does find Maha but the stepmother has other plans.  She buys oil which will make Maha's hair fall out and give off a foul smell but the plan backfires.  "When at last he lifted the veil, the scent of roses filled the room and her hair was so  beautiful he could not stop stroking it."  The stepmother now uses this oil on hr own daughter - perhaps you can guess the disastrous results.

You might like to read this review.  Follow your reading of The golden sandal with some other Cinderella stories (thanks to my friend for her brilliant Pinterest collection) and perhaps The Talking eggs which has a similar theme. Here is a web site which lists 365 Cinderella Stories.  This short video will give you close look at the beautiful illustrations in this book.

Here is a slide share of the whole book which might be a useful way to share the illustrations with a larger group.

No comments: