Little gold star A Spanish American Cinderella tale

Robert D. San Souci

Book - 2000

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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Folk tales
Picture books
New York : HarperCollins 2000.
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : ill. ; 29 cm
Main Author
Robert D. San Souci (-)
Other Authors
Sergio Martinez, 1937- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. The author of Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella (1998) and the new Cinderella Skeleton [BKL S 1 00] here gives the ever-popular picture-book tale a Southwestern flavor. While washing the fleece of a lamb her cruel stepmother has killed, Teresa meets the Blessed Mary, who asks her to tend old Joseph and the Holy Infant. When Teresa is finished, Mary returns and rewards her with a touch that places a gold star on her forehead. When her callous, clumsy sisters rush off for similar decorations, they are given not stars but goat horns and donkey ears. In Sergio Martinez's elegant Hispanic settings, Teresa and her beau, Don Miguel, are slender, graceful figures, comically juxtaposed against Teresa's lumpish, elaborately dressed stepmother and stepsisters, who are portrayed with exaggerated expressions of dismay or annoyance. Mary reappears to help Teresa secure her stepmother's permission to marry, and by the unalloyed happy ending, horns and hairy ears have vanished, too. Cinderella fans have to be rapid readers to keep up with the steady stream of new renditions, but this consolidation of old and new published versions mixes laughter and romance in pleasing proportion--and features an unusual (to say the least) fairy godmother. A source note is provided. John Peters Copyright 2000 Booklist 2000

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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, Tomás, 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 Tomás to marry her. On a rare visit home, Tomás 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.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

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

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A Spanish-American retelling of the familiar Cinderella story follows the adventures of a kind girl, Teresa, who is mistreated by her jealous stepmother and stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, until the Virgin Mary rewards Teresa with a shining gold star. Jr Lib Guild.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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 GuildA Selection of Nest Literary Classics