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Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story
     

Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story

4.5 7
by Robert D. San Souci
 

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Once, an Ojibwa man whose wife had died raised three daughters alone. The two older girls were lazy and bad-tempered, and made their youngest sister do all the work. When the flames from the cooking fire singed her hair or burned her skin, they laughed and called her Sootface.

While she worked, Sootface dreamed that one day she would find a husband. Then a mighty

Overview

Once, an Ojibwa man whose wife had died raised three daughters alone. The two older girls were lazy and bad-tempered, and made their youngest sister do all the work. When the flames from the cooking fire singed her hair or burned her skin, they laughed and called her Sootface.

While she worked, Sootface dreamed that one day she would find a husband. Then a mighty warrior with the power to make himself invisible decides to marry. Only a woman with a kind and honest heart could see him, and be his bride.

Though her sisters ridicule her, Sootface sets off to try her luck, never looking back. Her courage and good nature bring her the husband she has longed for.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
One of the strongest retelling voices in America, Robert San Souci recounts Sootface: An Objibwa Cinderella Story. Mistreated by her sisters, burned and singed by the cook fire, Sootface dreams of a better life. Dreaming gives her true vision to see and marry the invisible warrior whom every woman desires.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Sootface's mother is dead, her sisters beat her, and her father doesn't intervene. Her face is always smeared with soot, and her hair is horribly singed from the cookfire. In spite of all this, she remains resilient-she knows that one day she will escape her circumstances. A mighty warrior who has the power to make himself invisible decides to marry the woman who is kind enough of heart to see him. Several attractive maidens, including Sootface's sisters, try and fail. Now, Sootface is resourceful-no fairy personage shows up to magically bestow finery upon her or to fix up her hair. She prepares herself the best she can and goes off to meet him. She exclaims on the beauty of his bow-it's made of a rainbow and strung with stardust. He materializes, renames her Dawn-Light, and they are betrothed. The retelling is lively, flows well, and brings out the harshness of the heroine's situation, and yet it is not without humorous touches. The full-page watercolors dramatically convey the natural woodland setting, the jeers of Sootface's sisters and fellow villagers, and the serenity and kindness of the warrior and his sister. Sootface's dazed expression remains rather similar throughout-until the end, when she is transformed by love into a beautiful girl. Altogether a refreshing and rewarding ``Cinderella'' variant.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
Carolyn Phelan
In this Ojibwa tale, Sootface is a young woman who does all the cooking, mending, and fire tending for her father and her two mean and lazy older sisters. When the mysterious invisible warrior announces through his sister that he will take for his bride a woman with a kind and honest heart, only Sootface proves worthy. The tale has been told before, even in picture-book format, but the San Souci version reads aloud well, and the watercolor artwork illustrates the story with quiet grace. A satisfying picture book for reading aloud or alone, and a good choice for classes studying Native Americans or comparative folklore.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606118637
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/1997
Edition description:
REPRINT
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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