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Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella
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Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Ten ethnic versions of Cinderella story from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Middle East are summarized and worked into lessons for the middle and upper grades. Each story is accompanied by a Booktalk for review, a Motifs & Ideas for discussion, a Connection to a subject area, and a Vocabulary for cloze exercise. Answer Keys, Group Activities, and Self Evaluati ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Shens Books (first published May 28th 1996)
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Lisa Vegan
Mar 22, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the Hmong culture and/or various Cinderella tales
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I read my Goodreads’ friend Abigail’s review of this book and immediately reserved the book at the library. I’ve been very interested in the Hmong culture ever since I read Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, and within the last year I’ve read several other variations of the Cinderella tale and I thought this one would be interesting.

I appreciated the background work and the divulging of it by the author
While containing many of the basic elements of the Cinderella story, it also had some unique elements. The element that was most surprising was that the family needs a cow and the mother tells the father to turn her into a cow, and he does. I loved the beautiful, detailed illustrations that portrayed Jouanah's beauty and goodness as well as the beautiful setting in Thailand.
Mar 06, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2013, laos
I read this book at the same time I was reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman with my local book club.

I love that it depicts the Hmong people and their lives before their tragic exodus from Laos. I also appreciated the Cinderella-like story, as it allows our girls to compare the different details of the story compared to other books we've read. We've read several different versions of the classic
Oct 17, 2013 Jacoba rated it really liked it
Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn (1996)
Genre: Folklore
Format: Picture Book
Plot summary: After Jouanah's mother turns herself into a cow to provide for the family, Jouanah's father remarries to a nasty woman with a selfish daughter. The cow dies of grief, and Jouanah's father soon follows. Her mother's spirit returns to her though, and dresses her finely for the new years celebration where she meets the village elder's son.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory :
Nov 02, 2014 Kaokao rated it really liked it
I read this when I was in elementary school so that was about 18 years ago. I don't remember much about the book but being Hmong myself, I know that it was similar to the story my mom told me.
The reading was simple and the art was beautiful. The traditional clothes were realistic enough. It was a beautiful read.
I'll recommend it to people.
Disney Princess Recovery
Oct 02, 2014 Disney Princess Recovery rated it really liked it
Shelves: miss-c
My favorite version of Cinderella yet. A way more interesting beginning than, "First the mom died, then the dad died, now the story begins."

RLL 220 Selena Brown
Wow! Very interesting! This takes place high in the mountains of the ancient homeland of the Hmong. A farming family needed a cow in order to farm the land and the mother gave the father permission to turn her into a cow temporarily. He did, they did so well on the crops he didn't turn her back into a human and even married another women. Jouanah was sad about he mom being a cow but saddened even more when her step mom made her do all the house work and tricked Jouanah's dad into burning the sil ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Andre rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, kids-books
1) Deutsche Rezension
2) English Review

1) Deutsche Rezension
Rezept um eine Kuh zu werden:
Man nehme 3 Reben und winde sie dreimal um die Knöchel, dreimal um das Handgelenk und dreimal um den Kopf. Wer will es testen?

Dies war ein typisches Märchen, mit allen Pros und Kontras die es dabei gibt. So wird Magie (wie die obere) als völlig normal angesehen aber in dieser Version des Aschenputteltypus können die Leute ein Mädchen welches sie wer weiß wie oft gesehen haben auch nicht erkennen nur weil si
Ricky Yang
Mar 17, 2016 Ricky Yang rated it liked it
i think the book was really good it was similar to the original Cinderella except it took place in Thai Land but everything was mostly the same or very similar like instead of a prince it was a traveler but Jauanah went to the festival and she also had to get home before her more to but as she left she dropped her shoe just like the original Cinderella did the the traveler tried to find her but he couldnt and then he went through all of the town n searched for who could fit the shoe and eventual ...more
Amy Schmitz
This story provides an interesting spin on the traditional Cinderella. Jouanah's mother turns into a cow to help her father plow the fields. When her father gets remarried, Jounah's stepmother and stepsister make her life miserable. She is forced to take care of the house and do a lot of chores. The beautiful Jouanah finally escapes after she meets her prince charming at the new years festival. This is a great way to bring different cultures into your classroom. This story introduces students to ...more
Oct 29, 2012 Christina rated it did not like it
I thought this was a very interesting take on the traditional cinderella story. It follows the life of Jouanah (a Hmong girl) stuck in the role of Cinderella. Her father turns the mother in to a cow, and marries another woman who becomes her 'evil stepmother'. Jouanah attends a festival where she meets her true love and might finally escape the grasp of her stepmother. This would be a great way to discuss how different cultures can perceive the same story. This also might be an option for using ...more
Jo Oehrlein
In this story, instead of Jouanah's (Cinderella's) mother dying, she has her husband turn her into a cow that they can use to plow the fields and carry grain.

Once their life is stable, the father marries another woman instead of turning his wife back from cow to woman.

The new wife is mean and jealous of the cow (sounds crazy, doesn't it?). Eventually the cow dies.

Instead of a fairy godmother, the cow hide is magic and helps Jouanah. Instead of a prince, we have the son of the village Elder.

The i
Aug 09, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
In certain studies of literature, I’ve helped students study different cultures through experiences with various Cinderella stories. I’ve read several books about the Hmong culture and love this book because it holds some of those cultural parts, like the great respect for elders and the idea that spirits guide us in our daily lives. There is much to discuss in this book and to compare with other Cinderella stories. Illustrations of the beautiful costumes and traditions of the village celebrati ...more
Amanda V
Oct 23, 2012 Amanda V rated it it was ok
Interesting spin on the traditional Cinderella. When the spirit of Jouanah's mother gives her new clothes to wear to the festival, she meets the man of her dreams and can escape her cruel stepmother. Great to show students differences between stories and to give new perspectives on various cultures.
Mrs Bond
Mar 10, 2009 Mrs Bond rated it liked it
Jouanah's mother is turned into a cow to help the family farm succeed. The father marries another woman who has a child about Jouanah's age. The stepmother is intensely jealous. Enchanted cowhide (mother) provides beautiful clothing for child to participate in the festival.
Lisa Rathbun
Great version of Cinderella. Lovely way to include multiculturism in your classroom. (Pictures are beautiful but a slightly "vague" for me. I like my art crisp and clean-lined.) Instead of a fairy godmother, Jouanah's mother's spirit inspires and helps her.
Audrey Harlan
Nov 27, 2010 Audrey Harlan rated it really liked it
This book puts a different spin on the traditional Cinderella story by tying in traditional Hmong elements. This is good book to read alongside the Cinderella story we all know and love.
I loved this book, it was very well written and was well illustrated!
AR 4.8 -- 0.5
Oct 29, 2016 Anthonia rated it really liked it
Great little tale that i enjoyed reading. Another great addition to the Cinderella books. A must read for kids. A great story for kids.
Oct 03, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok
It's similar to the stories that my mom told me and the movies I'd watched. And the art in the book is really beautiful!
Melissa Housholder
Twist on the classic Cinderella. Jouanah has to deal with her mother being transformed into something other than her mother and her father moving on. Wonderful story!
Sharon rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2009
Valerie rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2014
Beth rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2010
Heather rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2015
❂ Sam ❂
❂ Sam ❂ rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2014
Aileen Rodriguez
Aileen Rodriguez rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2016
Stephanie Gregory
Stephanie Gregory rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2016
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has lived abroad and studies an array of diverse cultures. Has a doctorate in Higher Education Administration, two honorary degrees plus many literary awards. Currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband Bill.
More about Jewell Reinhart Coburn...

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