I know I’ve mentioned my book giving therapy before. Here comes a good one:
We’re always up for a Cinderella story around this house. And if it has a regional flavor… even better!
We found Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition at our library a while ago and some of the variances on the fairy tale pleased this mama to no end. The tale adapted by Jewel Reinhart Coburn, although featuring a beautiful heroine, emphasizes a legacy of humility, service, and kindness.
The sweet story is based on folklore originating in Hidalgo, Mexico. Domitila is a young woman who, because of family hardship, is driven to seek employment in the home of the governor. Before being called home for her mother’s death, Domitila captivates the tastebuds of the governor’s family, particularly the self-absorbed son, with her delicious nopales (a traditional dish made with prickly pear pads). With only a piece of hand-tooled sandal to track her down, the deeply flawed Timeteo goes in search of the girl who does “every task with care, and always adds a generous dash of love.”
The vivid oil paintings by Connie McLeman tell the story with pictures of colorful desert living and patterned borders. Although they were slightly lost on the three year old, I was delighted by the proverbs about life and love featured on each page in both English and Spanish. The sayings are profoundly beautiful, even if something is a bit lost in the translation.
This summer we also checked out what seems to be a local favorite. Susan Lowell’s The Three Little Javelinas is a well-written rendition of the traditional tale. The pigs are replaced by our dear bristly javelinas, while scheming coyote takes the place of the wolf. Even the building materials assume a Sonoran desert flavor in tumbleweeds, saguaro ribs, and adobe.
The little girls really enjoyed this book. They both spent a lot of time examining Jim Harris’ detailed illustrations with expressive critters and elaborate desert scapes.
Do you have any recommendations for unusual takes on “traditional” tales? What is your favorite Cinderella story?
Take your pick! Leave me a topic- related comment before midnight Tuesday, October 5th. One randomly selected commentor will recieve the copy of their choice.
Want a bonus entry? Try your hand at translating a favorite proverb or two from Domitila.
El amor es como el ojo de la aguja, sin el no hay ni costura ni remiendo.
El amor esta’ presente en el trabajo diario.
* Update: Congratulations to Claudia! One of her two entry numbers was selected by the true random number generator I used @ random.org.
P.S. You girls are good! The translations given in the book word for word are:
Love is like a needle’s eye, without it, there is no sewing or mending.
It is in one’s daily work that love can be discovered.