Thursday, November 1, 2012

Adelita a Mexican Cinderella

Tomi dePaola retells the story of Adelitathe Mexican Cinderella using his distinctive illustrations and adding Spanish words to give the reader a more cultural feel for the story.

This version shares many of the characteristics most children associate with Cinderella, but there is no footwear in this version. Cinderella's mother dies in childbirth. As she reaches her young adult years, her father remarries a woman with two daughters. I always find it interesting how the widow always seems to have one or two daughters, never three. In this version, she has a beloved servant that has been with the family since her birth. As her stepmother forces her to become a servant, she sends Esperanza away. Even when the woman offers to work for no wages, the stepmother senses she could cause trouble and forces her to leave.

When Dona Micaela discovers the Gordillo's will be hosting a party for all the local families and it is expected their son Javier will be seeking a bride, we have our required Cinderella ball. In this tale, Adelita is banned from attending. The stepmother is taking no chances in setting impossible tasks that might be achieved. When the family leaves, Esperanza arrives and uses the hidden key for Adelita's mother's trunk to provide her with a dress and a beautiful red shawl. Esperanza drives Adelita to the ball in a cart and she has a wonderful evening. In this version, she and Javier knew each other as children. She is afraid to tell him the truth about her circumstances and flees to Esperanza leaving nothing behind. Her prince sets off in search of her.

She puts the shawl out the window to attract him to the house and then dresses in the outfit she wore to the dance. When he arrives, the other daughters try to attract his attention. When she arrives dressed as before, he only has eyes for her. The family is invited to the wedding, but only Esperanza is invited to live with them.

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