Reviews for Rough-Face Girl


Kirkus Reviews 1992 March
An Algonquin Cinderella story, with accomplished but sometimes overliteral illustrations. A powerful invisible being will marry the woman who can prove that she's seen him; a poor man's two proud daughters try and fail, but the third, her face and hands scarred from tending the fire, has the understanding to see him everywhere in the world and is lovingly received. Martin's retelling is spare and understated, but never dry; the two sisters are richly comic figures, the climax and ending uncontrived yet magically romantic. Shannon (who illustrated Lester's How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?) expertly picks up the flavor--the sisters positively strut through the village, their noses high and one wearing what looks like a spangled angora sweater--but the lips the Rough-Faced Girl sees hanging in the sky, or the muscular, art-deco cloud figure, seem intrusions rather than integral parts of the natural world. Still, a strong, distinctive tale with art to match. (Folklore/Picture book. 8+) # Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1992 April #2
In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, two domineering sisters set out to marry the ``rich, powerful, and supposedly handsome'' Invisible Being, first having to prove that they can see him. They cannot, but their mistreated younger sister the Rough-Face Girl--so called because the sparks from the fire have scarred her skin--can, for she sees his ``sweet yet awesome face'' all around her. He then appears to her, reveals her true hidden beauty and marries her. Shannon ( How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have? ) paints powerful, stylized figures and stirring landscapes, heightening their impact with varied use of mist, shadows and darkness. His meticulous research is evident in intricate details of native dress and lodging. In places, though, he struggles with the paradox of illustrating the invisible--an eagle, tree, cloud and rainbow form the face of the Invisible Being in one disappointingly banal image. For the most part, however, the drama of these haunting illustrations--and of Martin's ( Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake ) respectful retelling--produce an affecting work. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1992 May
Gr 3 Up-- Simply, in the words of an oral storyteller, Martin retells an Algonquin folktale. The youngest of three sisters is forced by the other two to sit by the fire and feed the flames, which results in the burning and scarring of her hair and skin. Desirous of marriage to an Invisible Being who lives in a huge wigwam across the village, these cruel siblings must prove to his sister that they have seen him, but they fail. The Rough-Face Girl, however, sees the Invisible Being everywhere and can answer his sister's questions correctly. Comparable in presentation to Caroline Cunningham's ``The Little Scarred One'' from The Talking Stone (Knopf, 1939; o.p.; reprinted in Castles and Dragons , Crowell, 1958; o.p.), but different in detail, this is a splendid read-aloud. It is the only single illustrated version available. Shannon's finely crafted full- and double-page acrylic paintings in the rich hues of the earth embody the full flavor of the story. His stunning cover portrait shows at one glance both the girl's beauty and her frightful scars. Another in the recent succession of Cinderella stories, The Rough-Face Girl begs for comparison with Princess Furball (Greenwillow, 1989), Tattercoats (Putnam, 1989), Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Lothrop, 1987), Moss Gown (Clarion, 1987), etc., and will provide both entertainment and a cultural lesson.-- Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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