Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Persian Cinderella

Climo, Shirley (Author)
Florczak, Robert (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2001. 32 pages
First published: 1999
ISBN: 9780064438537 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 398
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Fairy Tale

Text Elements:

character, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this retelling of Cinderella, the beautiful Settareh, who is abused and neglected by her stepmother and jealous stepsisters, uses magic to win the heart of a prince.

An original story adapted from One Thousand and One Nights, the basic storyline is the same as the classic Cinderella tale with subtle differences. These include unexpected plot twists, elements from Aladdin, new vocabulary and the lush setting and authentic cultural details of old world Persia (e.g. “She seldom saw her father, for he was busy in the world of men;” “The queen gave Settareh a mirror so that she might gaze at the prince’s reflection without the embarrassment of facing him.”)

Luminous, life-like illustrations rendered in water-based markers, coloured pencil and ink echo the stunning colours and motifs of Persia and resemble Maxfield Parrish’s earlier artwork from the Arabian Nights. An afterword with author and artist notes provide vocabulary, insights and history for readers who want more background. This book exposes children to a new world and culture, making for a great point of comparison.

  •  Talk about this version of the story of Cinderella and use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast it with another version.
  •  

    Identify the elements that pertain specifically to Persian culture. Refer to the author’s note at the end of the book.

  •  

    Map the story as a class, then write a Canadian version (in pairs or as a class).

  •  

    With a partner, use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast this Cinderella tale with a more well-known version, or to versions from other cultures.

  •  

    At the back of the book, find the author’s note about the Persian aspect of the story. Identify the elements that belong specifically to Persian culture.

  •  What elements would you use to create a current and local Cinderella story? Write a basic script for this new version, then act it out. Make a short film out of it.
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Music