Sunday, March 23, 2014
The Rough-Face Girl
The story has similarities to the traditional Cinderella tale. There is a man with three daughters and no wife. The two eldest are mean to the younger daughter and torture her. The two eldest try to marry the dreamy man of the village but he doesn't want them and instead wants to marry the oppressed, lonely but beautiful youngest daughter. The illustrations are very dark and almost have a spooky feel to them. Based on the cover, I actually thought this would be a scary story! The dark theme adds to the authenticity and mood of the story. The illustrations are framed with a thin black line but still very large and the text is not framed and on the other side. The illustrations are very different from what I am used to seeing from David Shannon like in his No, David books and A Bad Case of Stripes. Illustrative style has an enormous impact on the tone of the story! The recurring colors are shades of tan, brown, and red which go perfectly with the story. There is a fuzziness to the pictures that makes the reader feel like they are in a dream or witnessing the story being retold.
In the author's note, Martin explains that this Algonquin Cinderella story is actually part of a much longer, complex, and traditional story that has been passed down for generations. He also said, "Grown on native soil, its mystery is rooted in our own place. I am happy to pass it on to children and parents today." (Martin). I really enjoyed this Native American Cinderella story. I am not sure about it's cultural authenticity but it seemed accurate to me. I would do a little more research on the accuracy of the book before reading it aloud to my students. But overall, this unique retelling of Cinderella would be a great addition to a classroom library and I highly recommend it!