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Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican…

Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition

by Jewell Reinhart Coburn

Other authors: Connie McLennan (Illustrator)

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This is the story about the Mexican Cinderella. The tale is told not by a glass slipper that was left, but enchanting food. When Domitila goes home, the "prince" goes to search for her. Even though an evil woman tried to fool him, he could not be thwarted.
  sam91h | Jun 11, 2017 |
Read for Traditional Literature assignment.
  gmustain | Dec 7, 2014 |
I liked this book for a few reasons. One reason I really liked this book was the features on the last page. The book concludes with a glossary page defining Spanish words, a recipe for the Nopales that Domitila makes in the book, and a publisher's note explaining the story. I really liked this last page because it extends the book and explains what occured in the story. The glossary helps readers who may not pick up on the meaning of Spanish words in the context of the story. The recipe was a fun addition that readers could use to make food like Domitila. Finally, the publisher's note helped explain the overall theme of the book and the background of the traditional story. Another reason I liked this book was the Spanish headings on each page. The headings made this picture book seem like a longer chapter book. While it was a little confusing that the words were in Spanish, it fit the story because it is a traditional Mexican tale. I liked the headings because for those who speak Spanish, it is clear what that page will be about. The main idea is to never give up hope because love conquers all and can bring people out of the worst situations. ( )
  SamanthaThompson | Nov 24, 2013 |
Raised by loving parents in the vast desert state of Hidalgo, Domitila grows to be a talented and beautiful young woman in this Mexican folktale, skilled at both cooking and working with fine leather. When her mother becomes ill, and Domitila must leave home in order to find work, she eventually gains a position as second cook in the governor's kitchens. Here, putting her mother's oft-repeated mantra - "Do every task with care, and always add a generous dash of love" - to work, Domitila so impresses the governor's son, Timoteo, with her delicious nopales, that when she must return home, he sets off in pursuit. Gaining great insight into this humble girl, with her many gifts, Timoteo is much changed by his journey, and even the meddling of the evil widow Malvina, who wants him to marry her own daughter, cannot prevent him from finding his true love, Domitila.

Based upon a story passed down in the Rivero family of Santa Barbara, California, Domitila is a fascinating variant of the Cinderella type tale, complete with the worthy (but poor) heroine, the 'prince' who comes to love her, and the meddling step-family. There are some significant differences, of course, with Domitila's nopales, and a small sample of her leather-working, providing Timoteo with the means of locating her, as opposed to some kind of footwear, but this only adds depth and richness to the tale. In this story, it is Cinderella's skill, and her goodness, that win the prince, not her elusive beauty, or small feet. The accompanying illustrations by Connie McLennan are appealing, although I think I agree with another reviewer, in thinking that Domitila's face looks very different, at certain points in the story. Despite this quibble, this book has both narrative and illustrative appeal, and is one I would recommend to all young fairytale lovers, and to anyone looking for Cinderella variants. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 25, 2013 |
Domitila is another version of Cinderella. There were several differences with this version of Cinderella. This story focused on food instead of cleaning chores. Instead of her being found by her shoe, she was found by the food she cooked. I think this book allows you to see the multicultural aspect. ( )
  mburgess | Nov 3, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jewell Reinhart Coburnprimary authorall editionscalculated
McLennan, ConnieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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By following her mother's admonition to perform every task with care and love, a poor young Mexican girl wins the devotion of the governor's son.

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