Genre: Mexico / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Folktale
Year Published: 2002
Year Read: 2010
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
“Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is a Mexican retelling of the classic fairytale, “Cinderella” retold by Tomie dePaola and it is about how a poor yet beautiful young woman named Adelita has to suffer the cruelness from her stepmother Senora Micaela de la Fortuna and her two daughters Valentina and Dulce until one night, Adelita hears about the fiesta that the rich family, the Gordillos, were having and she tries everything to go to the fiesta and see the Gordillos’ handsome son, Javier. “Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is truly one of the most memorable retellings of “Cinderella” ever told!
Out of all the versions I have read of the classic story of “Cinderella,” this was the first time that I have heard of a Mexican version of this classic tale and therefore, it made this book extremely unique from all the other fairytale versions I have ever read. Tomie dePaola has truly done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as the story is extremely heartwarming and dramatic at the same time. When I was reading this book, I can actually feel sympathy for Adelita’s predicament as she is treated cruelly by both her stepmother and her stepsisters and I think that many children would feel sympathy for her too. I also loved the way that Tomie dePaola puts various Spanish phrases in the book such as “Hace mucho tiempo” and then explaining the phrase in English like “Hace mucho tiempo – a long time ago” and what made the Mexican language much easier to understand is that Tomie dePaola provides a glossary at the end of the book detailing the translations of each Spanish phrase. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are much more beautiful in this book as all the characters look realistic and fluid. The illustration that stood out the most for me was the illustration of Adelita herself as she has long black hair and beautiful dark eyes and also Tomie dePaola provides the perfect Mexican atmosphere in his illustrations by drawing images of Mexican styled houses.
“Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story” is truly one of the best retellings of “Cinderella” I have ever read since it deals with Mexican culture and is a retelling of an old fairy tale, so children who love Mexican folktales and fairytales in general will definitely enjoy this book! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the Spanish language might be a tad bit too confusing for smaller children to understand.