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Judy Sierra
Westport, CT: Oryx Press, 1992
GR75 .C4 C38 1992

The tales in this book are presented for the enjoyment of anyone who would like to explore the mystery of how a folktale may vary as it is told in different cultures and in different times. The tales known collectively as Cinderella stories are perhaps the most widely recorded of all traditional narratives. Now considered a children's story, and censored to fit adult ideas of what is and is not suitable for children, tales of Cinderella and her cousins were once told by adults for all members of the community. The evils that befell the heroine in the oral tales were frightening, even gruesome. But she survived unharmed and triumphant, with the help of strange and magical beings much more mysterious and powerful than Disney's helpful birds and sweet fairy godmother.

The study of folktales raises many more questions than there are answers. Where and how were these tales first told? What was the meaning of those strange happenings, those magical creatures, to the people who first told the tales? Were they as mysterious to them as they are to us today? Scholars have only come up with tentative answers to these questions. Perhaps some of the young people reading these tales now for the first time will devise new ways of studying them.

The following introduction, and the notes preceeding each tale, are written to be read aloud to children as young as six and alone by those nine and up. The delight of these tales, as well as the challenge of comparing two or more versions, knows no age limit.

Taken from Preface.