Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.
For many weeks we have looked at literary versions of the fairy tale Cinderella, but now I would like to spend a few weeks looking at versions that appeared as picture books.
Cinderella Penguin or The Glass Flipper was written by Janet Perlman. This charming story is basically a play by play retelling of the Perrault version in that it has a fairy godmother, a pumpkin and mice that turn into a coach and horses, a midnight curfew and of course a glass slipper--or in this case a glass flipper.
I used to read it to my students when i taught first grade at Rosenthal in Louisiana and they loved it. Word-wise, it wasn't much different from any standard retelling, but it is the illustrations that make this so charming. All the penguins are slightly dumpy and wear strapless boob tube dresses and the way that with just eyes and a beak emotions are portrayed (sad and romantic for our heroine, cruel and haughty for her stepmother and stepsisters) is delightful.
The illustrations are what make this story and when I found out there was a wordless animated film version (done with splendid Baroque music) I jumped for joy.
This story was also a great one for "Easter eggs" like you find on DVDs. There are several pieces of famous artwork recreated in background shots (but with penguins instead of people) including The Arnolfini Marriage by Jan Van Eyck and that tapestry with the lady and the unicorn. See if you can spot them!
That's all for this week, stay tuned next week for a tale of a Rough Face Girl.