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The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo

The Korean Cinderella

by Shirley Climo, Ruth Heller (Illustrator)

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Bibliographic Information: Shirley Climo, “The Korean Cinderella”, Illustrated by Ruth Heller, Published by HarperCollins, ©1993, 42 pages
Genre: Folktales, myth, fables and legends
Summary: Pear Blossom is beautiful little girl named after tree her dad planted when she was born. Her mother dies when she is very young and father gets married again to a woman with a daughter. Pear Blossom’s stepmother always blames her for everything and never lets her do anything. Pear Blossoms father was too old to know how she was being treated. Her stepmother never let her go to town and always threatened to get rid of her but the animals always helped her finish. The festival was coming up and Pear didn’t think she was going to get to go but her stepmother said she go if she weeded all the rice. Pear was excited until she got to the rice and seen that it would take weeks. An ox showed up and ate all the weeds. Pear was able to go to the festival. She got scared when the magistrate was coming down the road and ran off but lost her shoe first. He picked it up the shoe and went off to find her. Pear Blossoms stepmother and stepsister found her an accused her of stealing when the magistrate showed up he asked if the shoe belonged to her and then he went and asked for her hand in marriage. They lived happily ever after.
Tags: Love, Fantasy, magic
My Response: I liked that this wasn’t as traditional of a Cinderella story but just as good. When she went through something I felt her pain. I really liked all the help she got from the animals to finish her chores. It also teaches you a little bit about Korean traditions.
  EmilyBascio | May 5, 2014 |
This version of the Cinderella story is 3 stories combined. It illustrates the many facets of what we all know to be the Cinderella story. ( )
  Franeli87 | Feb 25, 2014 |
I think this is a good children's book. I really like the illustrations. The illustrations follow with the Korean culture with bright colors and intricate details. I think this makes the story more interesting and captures the reader's attention. I also like the plot of the story. I really like how the main character's life follows the growth of the pear tree. I think this shows a parallel between nature and life, which brings up an interesting topic. Overall, I think that it gives good insight into the Korean culture, which I enjoyed. The main message of the story is that good things happen to good people. ( )
  bstove1 | Nov 25, 2013 |
The Korean Cinderella is a Korean version of the old fairy tales Cinderella. It's interesting to read different versions and find the plots in common and the differences. It's a good book when teaching the multi culture literatures and maybe teacher can ask students to retell the story in their own version.
  ying-sun | Nov 9, 2013 |
I enjoyed, “The Korean Cinderella” for one main reason. I loved how I read a different culture’s perspective on the classic story of Cinderella. I’ve always thought that Disney’s portrayal of Cinderella was the only adaptation of the story. However, this is not true at all. “The Korean Cinderella” while similar to Disney’s version in some ways, was very much its own story full of rich Korean storytelling. Basically, the story is about a beautiful and kind girl named Pear Blossom, whose mother dies and then her father remarries a wicked woman with an equally wicked daughter. Pear Blossom’s father becomes ill shortly after he remarries, leaving her under the control of her evil stepmother who makes Pear Blossom a servant to her and her daughter. The tasks Pear Blossom’s step mother gives her are impossible, until a different mystical creature conveniently comes every time and helps her complete them. Every time Pear Blossom tells her stepmother what has happened during her chores, she accuses her of lying and punishes her severely. One day, the village Pear Blossom lived in was having a festival and she desperately wanted to go. Her stepmother said she could go, but she had to weed rice paddies in a huge field first. Just as Pear Blossom was about to give up a huge black ox appeared in a cloud of dust and ate the weeds “faster than the wind.” This allowed Pear Blossom to go to the festival, where she got a stone stuck in her sandal and had to take it off. As she was removing her shoe she saw a young, handsome noblemen approach her on a palanquin. She became nervous and ran away, forgetting to take her shoe with her. The nobleman called after her to stop running because he was taken with her beauty and ordered his servants to take him to the village. When Pear Blossom got back to the festival she ran into her stepmother who scolded her for being there. At this point, the nobleman came back with Pear Blossom’s shoe and asked her to marry him. From this summary you can see how different and incredibly rich in culture, “The Korean Cinderella” was. I absolutely loved getting to see a Korean perspective on what I (ignorantly) viewed as an “American” classic. The main idea in, “The Korean Cinderella” is to always remain kind and true to yourself, even in the face of cruelty and adversity. The story teaches that it is not always actions that make a person kind but, their reactions. Pear Blossom stayed upbeat and positive even when her stepmother and stepsister berated her, and never lowered herself to match their cruel antics. This enabled Pear Blossom to have her “happy ending” and also pays off in real life too. ( )
  MaryBethLingner | Oct 14, 2013 |
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This is a great resource to integrate multiculturalism and also talk about Cinderella the fair tale.
added by courtneyemahr | editCourtney E. Mahr

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shirley Climoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heller, RuthIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064433978, Paperback)

-Climo and Heller conflate several Korean variants of Cinderella to offer up the story of Pear Blossom, a lovely girl who is sorely mistreated by her nasty stepmother and stepsister.… At once comfortingly familiar and intriguingly exotic, the text is especially noteworthy for its instructive but unobtrusive incorporation of Korean words.’—Publishers Weekly. -Heller’s paintings are exotically lush and colorful as well as engaging.… An agreeable retelling of the Cinderella story.’ —BL.

Notable 1994 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this version of Cinderella set in ancient Korea, Pear Blossom, a stepchild, eventually comes to be chosen by the magistrate to be his wife.

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