Reviews for Golden Sandal : A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 April 1998
Ages 5^-8. Youngsters who have read Ai-ling Louie's Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China (1990) may notice similarities in this retelling of an old Iraqi Cinderella tale. Hillenbrand's illustrations capture a strong sense of place: women carry trays and jugs of water on their heads, and chickens outnumber dogs and cats on the streets. Dark-haired, dark-eyed, overworked Maha, the Cinderella character, stands in sharp contrast to her vain, lazy stepsister, another motif even the youngest child will quickly identify. However, some children won't understand why the male character, Tariq, wants to find and marry Maha when he hasn't met her (there's no dancing at a ball in this version) or why Tariq's horse won't drink from the water under the bridge. Even so, they'll sympathize with Maha and gasp in mock horror when the mean stepsister gets her due--a whole new look. ((Reviewed April 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
Maha, the beloved daughter of a widowed fisherman from Iraq, joins the burgeoning ranks of beguiling picture-book Cinderellas from around the world. In this simply written version, Maha's needed fairy godmother appears as a red fish whose life Maha has spared. The illustrations use both interior and external architectural details to re-create the limpid Middle Eastern landscape. A concluding note from author and illustrator records their respective research.Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

----------------------
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1998 #2
The authors provide careful documentation for each of the ten creation tales that make up this collection, as well as a general bibliography and a glossary of Amerindian and Portuguese words. The stories themselves, which cover the origins of humans and animals, of night and the stars, of thunder and lightning, and of various foods and plants, are smoothly and simply told. As synthesized here by the adapters, they reveal much about the culture of the Amazonian Indians of Brazil, most notably their deep respect for the natural world. Particularly revealing are the transformations and interchangeable nature of the characters in so many of the stories: children can become stars; a woman marries a serpent. In one of the most intriguing tales, a boy is adopted by a kindly jaguar, who introduces him to the mysteries of fire. Only after the boy betrays the jaguar by stealing his fire does the animal become the enemy of people. Black-and-white and color prints by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European travelers to the region enhance the exotic quality of the tales and add to the sense of authenticity. This well-documented and readable book will be a welcome source to librarians, storytellers, and children who are fascinated by the rain forest and its inhabitants. n.v. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 September #2
PW called this Iraqi Cinderella tale "a visual treat from start to finish." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 1998 April
In this gentle Cinderella variant from Iraq, young Maha begs her widowed father to marry their seemingly kind neighbor, a widow with a daughter of her own. After the marriage, however, the woman grows to loathe her stepdaughter, and she and her daughter treat Maha like a slave. One day, the poor girl rescues a talking red fish that helps her over the years. Finally, it provides her with fine clothes so that she may attend a wealthy young woman's bridal ritual. She stays too long, and in her flight, she loses one of her golden sandals. Tariq, the bride's brother, finds it, and his mother searches the city for the owner of the shoe. Maha's foot is a perfect fit and she and Tariq live happily ever after. In her gracefully written narrative, Hickox effectively blends many familiar touches with elements of the story that will be new to Western audiences. An author's note provides the sources for this well-told tale. Hillenbrand's delicate, textured illustrations have the look of watered silk touched with glowing jewel-toned accents. The paintings integrate well with the text, and the result is a sweet, smooth book with just a hint of spice. Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

----------------------