Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Story

Overview

Blessed Mary rewards Teresa's good deeds with a shining gold star. Later she punishes Teresa's unkind stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, with hideous horns and donkey's ears that they try to hide under heavy veils! But will Teresa outshine her stepsisters at the festival? Robert D. San Souci retells this popular folktale in a lilting narrative that includes all the magic of the beloved Cinderella story and traditional elements from Spanish tales. Luminous watercolors by Sergio Martinez accentuate the beauty and ...

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Overview

Blessed Mary rewards Teresa's good deeds with a shining gold star. Later she punishes Teresa's unkind stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, with hideous horns and donkey's ears that they try to hide under heavy veils! But will Teresa outshine her stepsisters at the festival? Robert D. San Souci retells this popular folktale in a lilting narrative that includes all the magic of the beloved Cinderella story and traditional elements from Spanish tales. Luminous watercolors by Sergio Martinez accentuate the beauty and goodness that radiate from Little Gold Star.

A Selection of the Junior Library Guild

A Selection of Nest Literary Classics

A Spanish American retelling of the familiar story of a kind girl who is mistreated by her jealous stepmother and stepsisters. In this version, the Virgin Mary replaces the traditional fairy godmother.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children' s Books
This is effective fairy-tale magic transported to new terrain.
Children's Literature
This lengthy Southwestern folktale has a Cinderella-like heroine named Teresa and, instead of a fairy godmother, the Blessed Mary to help her. A gold star is placed on Teresa's forehead by Mary. At a feast, Teresa meets handsome Miguel, but she flees as in the traditional tale. Despite the efforts of the wicked stepmother and sisters, Miguel finds Teresa and, with Mary's help, a happy ending. Martinez's realistic watercolor drawings tell the visual story in theatrical stage settings on full pages. He includes many details of clothing and architecture while using dramatic lighting to enhance emotion. By accentuating the heroine's clean-cut goodness and the stepmother's deviousness, the artist adds to the pleasure of this variation on the moral story. 2000, HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-To add to Jewell Reinhart Coburn's Domitila (Shen's, 2000) and Joe Hayes's Little Gold Star/Estrellita de oro (Cinco Puntos, 2000), comes San Souci's variant of the same story. Sweet young Teresa lives peacefully with her father, Tom s, in the high hills of New Mexico. He tends sheep, and she keeps house. Their measured existence is shattered when an opportunistic widow with two daughters persuades Tom s to marry her. On a rare visit home, Tom s brings a lamb to his daughter. The outraged stepmother kills it and sends the brokenhearted girl to wash its fleece in the river. The fleece is snatched by a fish, and as Teresa begins to cry, a lovely woman in blue appears and promises to get it back if she will tend to the old man and the baby in a hut on the hill. Teresa does so gladly, not knowing that the woman is the Virgin Mary and that she has been asked to care for the Holy Family. Her reward is a gold star, planted in the middle of her forehead. When she returns home, the stepmother is again enraged, but sends her daughters to do the same and receive gold stars. The results are disastrous. From this point on, the story follows the traditional tale, until the satisfying ending when the Blessed Virgin again helps the young woman. San Souci's telling is smooth and fluid. Martinez's lovely, luminous watercolor illustrations are a perfect match for the text. His accomplished sense of extended line gives all of his figures a romantic, elongated look, and his command of expression is exceptional. A noteworthy addition to an already impressive crop of Southwestern "Cinderella" stories.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This tender version of the Cinderella story comes from the American Southwest. A widow and her two daughters pressure the shepherd Tomás into marriage, and while he spends more and more time with the flocks, his daughter Teresa gets more and more of the chores. When Tomás brings Teresa the gift of a lamb, her stepmother kills it and orders her to wash the fleece. A fish steals the fleece, but Blessed Mary appears to her, and asks her to care for Joseph and the Child for a day. Teresa is rewarded for her kindness by the return of the fleece, and the Virgin touches her forehead so a gold star appears there. When Teresa returns home, the stepsisters are fierce with jealousy, mocking her with the name Estrellita de Oro (Little Gold Star), but when each of them in turn tries for the fleece and the gold star, they fail the kindness test and get horns and donkey's ears instead. Still, when Don Miguel gives a fine party, the sisters vie for his attention, mantillas over their protuberances. As is to be expected he has eyes only for Teresa, who is then sent home by her stepmother. Don Miguel finds her through the offices of their cat, but the stepmother sets three impossible tasks for Teresa before she will give permission for the marriage. Mary blesses Teresa again, the tasks completed, Teresa and Don Miguel marry, and even the stepsisters learn kindness until their donkey ears and horns disappear. There's a wonderful translucence to Martínez's watercolors: light seems to shine through the roses in the Virgin's path, the candles at Don Miguel's, even the stepsisters' black lace mantillas. Little Gold Star has a lovely face, and the stepmother and sisters areproperlygrumpy. In a year full of Cinderella variations, this one is a welcome addition. (Fairy tale. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688147815
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. San Souci is the author of many award-winning retellings of legends and folktales for children. He also wrote the screen story for the Walt Disney animated feature Mulan. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Sergio Martinez was born and lives in Mexico City. He illustrated Weapons & Warfare by Milton Meltzer. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries around the world.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001

    I loved it!!

    This book has a nice mixture of the traditional Cinderella story with other Spanish folk tales. I love that the author uses the Virgin Mary in place of the fairy godmother. If you like Cinderella you'll love this.

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