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The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece
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The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Once upon a time in Greece, fate left a young girl an orphan. Her stepmother was so hateful that she counted every drop of water the orphan drank! But with the help of Nature's blessings, the orphan was showered with gifts: brilliance from the Sun, beauty from the Moon, gracefulness from the Dawn—and even a tiny pair of blue shoes from the Sea. When the prince comes to ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Charmie McKinney
Feb 05, 2014 Charmie McKinney rated it it was amazing
The Orphan:A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony L. Manna and Soula Mitakidou. Illustrated by Giselle Potter

"A child becomes an orphan when she loses her mother" according to Greek tales. One day cruel fate took her mother away. Her father remarried a woman who had two spoiled daughters. Cinderella referred to as the "orphan" throughout the book was mistreated by her evil stepmother and two stepsisters. One day the orphan ran to the gravesite of her mother and cried out. Her mothers voice ar
Valerie Lurquin
May 14, 2015 Valerie Lurquin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-lit
I loved this story due to its differences from the traditional Cinderella. It is drawn from the classic greek tale, The Orphan, where a heroine who loses her mother as a child, becomes a slave to her stepmother and stepsisters. The difference here is that no fairy godmother steps in, instead it is mother nature who takes her place in giving her beautiful dresses, a wreath for her hair, and beautiful blue shoes. The Orphan hides these items in a trunk. A prince later arrives at her villiage, ...more
Gwen the Librarian
I have seen this book getting raves, and as a big folklore fan, I was eager to see why. I'm still not sure. This re-telling of the Cinderella story is set in Greece and I did like the variations it had: the dead mother blessed her daughter with gifts, the prince was attending church in the village, the girl rode animals made from clouds. I like that the story seemed more homespun. I wasn't crazy about the illustrations; even though their folk art style and color palette suited the story well. ...more
In the Authors’ Note, Anthony L. Manna and Soula Mitakidous shared that they were inspired by two Greek versions of the classic Cinderella story, and they pulled elements from both tales. In addition, they noted that many of the Greek Cinderellas shared the traditional role of waiting for their princes, but the authors opted to have their heroine determine her own fate.

In this version, a little girl’s mother dies, and if a child loses her mother, she is considered an orphan by many in Greece. H
Ashley Bell
Oct 24, 2012 Ashley Bell rated it liked it
The Orphan: a Cinderella Story from Greece, witten by Anthony L. Manna and soula Mitakidou and illustrated by Giselle Potter, had a cute twist on the original story. In this book Cinderella's mother dies and her father marries a cruel women with two step sisters. Cinderella one night goes to her mothers grave and cry's to her, when to her surprise her mothers grave tells her to leave and go home. The next day mother nature gives cinderella many gifts. the family found out that the prince was ...more
Diana Garcia
I really enjoyed reading this different version of a cinderella story. It was very interesting and I liked some of the twists it had. I liked that the mother was her source of help and not a god-mother. The girl's mother showed a lot of love and care for her daughter before she passed. It's interesting to see how other cultures view things. The book is titled The Orphan but she wasn't really an orphan; in greece the loss of a mother means you might as well be known as an orphan. It not only ...more
Oct 02, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
The Orphan
The Orphan is Cinderella story from Greece. This was my first story that I had ever read from Greece. The story was very similar to the Cinderella stories we have heard in the United States with some added elements.
Cinderella is called an orphan in this story, not because she didn’t have a family, but solely because you are labeled an orphan when you lose your mother. Many of the Cinderella tales incorporate the animals as friends to Cinderella. This version the deceased mother
Dec 06, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
There are hundreds of Cinderella variations. The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece is a new retelling based on two Greek versions. This Cinderella, known only as ‘the orphan,’ is subjected to cruelty from her stepmother and stepsisters. She pleads for help on her mother’s grave and is reassured and guided by her mother’s words. Mother Nature and her children Sun, Moon, Dawn, Morning Star, Meadows, and Sea each bestow a gift upon the orphan such as beauty, gracefulness and delicate blue ...more
Jul 24, 2012 Christy rated it it was ok
Schwartz & Wade Books
Anthony Manna & Soula Mitakidou
Giselle Potter
32 pages
Picture Book/Traditional Literature

From the first word of the book to the last word of the book, I began to think of similarities and differences between the Cinderella story I've grown up with and this version from Greece. I struggle with a decision of like the book or dislike the book. I begin to think of how the two are similar: young girl looses her mother, has a mean step mother and step sisters, gets beau
May 12, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
As Cinderella tales go, the orphan in this story lost her mother and is left to a lonely life with a step-mother who counts each drop of water she drinks and sisters who are unusually cruel. Seeking a way out, the orphan visits her mother's grave and is told to not despair but return home to await her fortune. Upon returning home, it is not a fairy godmother, but rather Mother Nature and her children that assist the orphan. This time the prince is met at church (rather than a ball), but a shoe ...more
Kimberly Ehrlich
Jun 30, 2015 Kimberly Ehrlich rated it really liked it
This story is another Cinderella retelling, but from Greece. There are several main differences, including no fairies in the story, and no ball, but instead church. Through these differences children can begin to make their inferences about the differences in culture. They can begin to ponder why there are no faeries in the story, and the teacher can introduce the pagan religion which existed before Christianity and was woven into many Western tales. Church is a good discussion because the ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Joanna rated it it was ok
This was a nice version of Cinderella. I liked how the child is referred to as an Orphan, as is customary of Greek culture, when a child’s mother dies. The Orphan receives gifts from nature, which is different to the Western version, and yet she is still unrecognized by the Prince and her family. Also she doesn’t attend a ball, rather the Prince attends the village church, and this is a nice view of the Greek culture, where religion is very central to daily life. This is a nice addition to a ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Loraine rated it really liked it
Rats! I wish we could give half stars (!), because this book would then be a 3.5 star. But I enjoyed the book. The illustrations are wonderful. The fact that this Cinderella is indeed inspired by Greek folklore gives some real zest to this fairy tale. Add to that Athena's owl, words of prophecy from her mother's grave, gifts from the the gods of the natural elements . . . and you've got a beautiful children's book. As a matter of fact, the reading of this book inspired me to request Folktales ...more
Dec 21, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
This is not the Greek version, per se. The author's note says that it is inspired by 2 Greek versions. In this tale, they are paying homage to the original notion of Cinderella going to a second ball and losing her glass slipper there, however, instead of a ball, everyone tries to gain the prince's favor at a church service. The authors also note that they had their Cinderella “step out of the traditional role in which she waits patiently for her prince.” Rather than wait in the cinders, she ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books-jp
So many countries have a folk tale that is essentially the Cinderalla story - just check the Sur La Lune wonderful website for this as well as Little Red Riding hood - alikes etc. But this story is somewhat misleading, it is on the cover, a Cinderella story from Greece, but then it is inside an original story that is the Cinderella story the author just set in Greece. I found this a bit offputting as we lend out a lot of read alikes for college students based on the curious and interesting fact ...more
This is the first picture book that i have read in ebook format; it was a satisfactory experience, but for this title I wasn't certain if certain sections of the text were on a page with illustrations. I will read other picture books on in the ebook format just because it is quick.

The elements of this Cinderella verison are very different from the English language verisons. I did enjoy the differences, especially, the repeated phrase, Go, my child, go to Good; also the use of going to church ins
Nicole Bonia
Jan 12, 2012 Nicole Bonia rated it really liked it
If you’re looking for an alternate version of this classic fairytale, maybe one that’s a little heavier on the girl power, look no further than this extended picture book drawing on Greek versions of the Cinderella mythology. The drawings are minimal but charming and well-executed. This telling of Cinderella relies on the Universe, some words of wisdom from a dead mother, and Cinderella’s own resourceful self for deliverance without waiting for the prince to save her and improve her ...more
Denise Kruse
Apr 30, 2013 Denise Kruse rated it really liked it
A beautiful interpretation of Cinderella in which our heroine is referred to as "The Orphan" because as people say in Greece, "A child becomes an orphan when she loses her mother." The voice of her own mother (rather than a fairy godmother) guides her. This orphan does not wait around for the prince, she searches for him– plus she has long dark hair. One could not ask for more except, perhaps, for the gorgeous illustrations by Giselle Potter.
Lauren Brant
Oct 10, 2013 Lauren Brant rated it liked it
This Cinderella story has a very similar plot to the traditional story we are all familiar with. This Cinderella is an orphan, although she has a father. It states that people in Greece say that "a child becomes an orphan when she loses her mother." The illustrations are vivid and bright and the mother is an ever-present spirit who continues to communicate with her daughter throughout the text, advising her to move on with her life.
Jan 03, 2013 Angie rated it liked it
This is Cinderella's story told from the Greek perspective. It is very similar to the Cinderella story I knew. One difference is that the father is still alive. Another difference is the setting of the church service instead of the ball. Mother Nature and the mother take the place of the fairy godmother in this story. It is an excellent version of the Cinderella tale.
Aug 05, 2015 Corina rated it it was ok
Shelves: fairy-tales
Story line was adjusted to make Cinderella more independent, but that takes away from the joy that any woman would want of being rescued by a handsome prince from a pitiful state of loneliness and despair, which is where the true charm comes in the story of Cinderella. Also not a fan of the character illustrations in this book.
Dec 26, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
All of the tales of Cinderella are unique. What makes this tale stand out? Being an orphan is to be motherless and she learns from the graveside of her mother what to do. The loving spirit of her mother is always with her.
Jan 22, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is The Greek version of Cinderella. There are many different cultural versions of Cinderella and this one can be added. It would work well is students could study the similarities and differences in the stories.
I love folk tales & fairy tales. Glad to see a new Cinderella version. I liked it-with the mother's grave, the gifts from Mother Nature and her children, the horse that comes from clouds. And I like Giselle Potter's illustrations.
This tale reminds me of the Irish Cinderella where Trembling goes to church and meets her prince there. However, the way she gets her gowns and the fact she only goes to church twice is a bit different. Lovely tale though!
I like how they didn't make the story like every other Cinderella story. However, I wasn't a fan of the illustrations.
Aug 05, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
An excellent version of the Cinderella story. Princess-y enough for my daughter; empowered enough for me.
I like the colors and just the fact of the different approach more than I actually like this version.
Nov 06, 2011 Brianna rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Cinderella stories never get old, I guess. This one is pretty standard fare as far as the way the story is told, but the illustrations and typesetting are quite beautiful.
Barbara Lovejoy
Apr 09, 2013 Barbara Lovejoy rated it really liked it
This is one of the Cinderella multicultural books I bought with "birthday money" donated by an Esperanza board member. The story is great and the illustrations are wonderful!
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What you do think? 1 2 Apr 01, 2012 04:09PM  
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ANTHONY L. MANNA, Ph.D., is a retired professor from the Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies and the English Department at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, where he taught Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature, Writing, and Educational Drama and served as one of the co-directors of Kent State’s National Writing Project (sponsored by UC/Berkeley).

A New Jersey native, h
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