Friday, February 25, 2005

Bound ****

Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound. New York: Antheneum, 2004.

The fairy tale Cinderella has been told all over the world. Most countries and cultures have a version of the tale of their own that is hundreds or thousands of years old. The Chinese version is similar to the Cinderella story we know. She lives with her step mother and step sister, who treat her like a slave. When the Springtime comes, there is a festival and the step mother wants to marry off her own daughter while not worrying about her step daughter. Like the story we know, she goes anyway, and loses a shoe. The prince goes around trying to find the girl whose foot fits the shoe. In this novel, the story is expanded to include more detail and inside thoughts. Xing Xing is "Cinderella". In the end, she gets her happy ending by marrying the Prince, and leaving her pathetic step mother and step sister in the dust.

I have taken a class that examined fairy tales and its versions, so I enjoy books like this one. I believe others would enjoy reading the story not just for the plot, but to see the parallels betweem this story and the traditional Cinderella story we all know.

As an aside, anyone interested in also reading a picture book version of the Chinese Cinderella version should read Yeh-Shen by Ai-Ling Louie. It should be available at all public libraries.

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