Tag Archives: fairy tales

Cinderella around the World

Hello everyone!

Katie Merkel

If you’re as into fairy tales as I am, then you already know that there are hundreds of Cinderella retellings. Below, I have organized some picture book retellings of Cinderella by continent. So, whether you’re a fairy tale fanatic or have an interest in anthropology, I think you’ll be fascinated by the way that culture influenced the telling of the tale. After reading some of the books, be sure to try one or more of the educational activities at the end of the post.



Chinye: A West African Folk Tale by Obi Onyefulu, illustrated by Evie Safarewicz

The Egyptian Cinderella

The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller

Nomi and the Magic Fish

Nomi and the Magic Fish: A Story from Africa by Phumla, illustrated by Carole Byard



Adelaida: A Cuban Cinderella by Ana Monnar, illustrated by Nancy Michaud


Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Brian Pinkney


Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, illustrated by Connie McLennan

Estrellita de oro/Little Gold Star

Estrellita de oro / Little Gold Star: A Cinderella Cuento by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Gloria Osuna Pérez and Lucía Ángela Pérez

Smoky Mountain Rose

Smoky Mountain Rose: An Appalachian Cinderella by Alan Schroeder, illustrated by Brad Sneed


Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story retold by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Daniel San Souci

The Turkey Girl

The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story retold by Penny Pollock, illustrated by Ed Young



Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz, illustrated by Youshan Tang


Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, illustrated by Eddie Flotte

Anklet for a Princess

Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from India by Lila Mehta, adapted by Meredith Brucker, illustrated by Youshan Tang

The Golden Sandal

The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story by Rebecca Hickox, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand


Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella adapted by Jewell Reinhard Coburn and Tzexa Cherta Lee, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien

The Korean Cinderella

The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller

The Persian Cinderella

The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Robert Florczak


Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China retold by Ai-Ling Louie, illustrated by Ed Young



Cinderella retold and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

The Orphan

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony L. Manna & Soula Mitakidou, illustrated by Giselle Potter

Princess Furball

Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck, illustrated Anita Lobel

Raisel's Riddle

Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Susan Gaber

Tattercoats: An Old English Tale by Flora Annie Steel, illustrated by Diane Goode


  1. Read two or more versions of the Cinderella story and compare and contrast the versions. (Preschool Adaptation: Read one version a day. Ask the same questions about each version. After reading a new version, compare the version you just read with the versions that you already read. Question suggestions: “Who did Cinderella live with?” “How many sisters did Cinderella have?” “Where did Cinderella want to go?” “Who helped Cinderella get there?” “Did Cinderella lose something? What?” “How did the Prince find Cinderella?”)
  2. Read multiple versions of the Cinderella story and identify the elements that all the read stories have in common. Then, have students write their own Cinderella stories that incorporate those same elements.
  3. Divide students into groups. Have each group read a different version of Cinderella and act it out for the class.
  4. Divide students into groups. Assign each group a different version of the Cinderella story and have them research the culture it came from. Have them present that culture to the class. (Preschool Adaptation: Choose a few versions of the Cinderella story and talk about the cultures in those stories. Do a craft and/or play a game specific to each culture and/or have a table or corner for each culture filled with items from or that could be found in that culture.)

Happy reading!



For more themed book recommendations and activities, visit my post library.


Fractured Fairy Tales

Hello everyone!

“Tale as old as time. Tune as old as song.” – Beauty and the Beast

Many of us grew up hearing fairy tales told the same way. There may have been some slight variation from one retelling to the other – for example, in the original Cinderella story the ball lasted for three nights instead of just one – but the essence and elements of the fairy tales always stayed the same.

More recently, I have noticed authors altering our beloved tales by deviating from the traditional outcome, moral, characters’ roles, etc.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to choose a fairy tale and rewrite it in an original way.

Below are a few examples for how to “fracture” your fairy tale:

  1. Put it in a different time period.
  2. Switch the characters’ roles.
  3. Switch the characters’ genders.
  4. Cut or combine characters.
  5. Change the plot.
  6. Change the ending.
  7. Create a backstory explaining why the hero or villain is doing what he/she does.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Your imagination is the only limit to your fracturing abilities.

Below are a few picture book examples of fractured fairy tales:

Prince Cinders by Babette Cole

Falling for Rupunzel by Leah Wilcox; illustrated by Lydia Monks

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Lane Smith

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub; illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This prompt was inspired by an acting project Brenda Eppley, one of my theater professors, assigned while I was earning my Associates in Performing Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College. My group’s story was Aladdin. We fractured the fairy tale by setting it in Chicago, making the Sultan the head of the Mafia, Jafar a dirty cop, and Aladdin a con artist. We further fractured it by making the Genie and Jasmine siblings. Jasmine wanted to take over the Mafia after her father, but he thought that his daughter should be innocent of the family’s illegal activity. The Genie, on the other hand, was the Don’s chosen successor, but he wanted to be free from his Mafia ties.

Happy writing!