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 by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe
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: A Cinderella Cuento by Joe Hayes, illustrated by Gloria Osuna Pérez and Lucía Ángela Pérez
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: 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: A Cinderella Story from India by Lila Mehta, adapted by Meredith Brucker, illustrated by Youshan Tang
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 by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Ruth Heller
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
Fair, Brown & Trembling: An Irish Cinderella Story by Jude Daly
The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony L. Manna & Soula Mitakidou, illustrated by Giselle Potter
Princess Furball by Charlotte Huck, illustrated Anita Lobel
Raisel’s Riddle by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Susan Gaber
Tattercoats: An Old English Tale by Flora Annie Steel, illustrated by Diane Goode
- 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?”)
- 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.
- Divide students into groups. Have each group read a different version of Cinderella and act it out for the class.
- 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.)
For more themed book recommendations and activities, visit my post library.