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Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale
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Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Blessed Mary rewards Teresa's good deeds with a shining gold star. Later she punishes Teresa's unkind stepsisters, Isabel and Inez, with hideous horns and donkey's ears that they try to hide under heavy veils! But will Teresa outshine her stepsisters at the festival? Robert D. San Souci retells this popular folktale in a lilting narrative that includes all the magic of the...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 19th 2000 by HarperCollins
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 275)
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Julia Drescher
This is a unique Cinderella story. Teresa is the only child of a widower. He then marries a neighbor with two daughters, Inez and Isabel. The behavior of Inez and Isabel is greatly different than that of Teresa. Teresa is a very caring girl, while Inez and Isabel are not. Unknowing, Teresa cares for a baby (Jesus) and his father (Saint Joseph) after a woman in blue (Mary) asked her to visit them. She thought she was visiting someone who needed her support and did not know she was following the d...more
Lisa Rathbun
An amazingly different version, here Cinderella is aided by the Virgin Mary. The wonderful illustrations really capture the eye, although the one with the stepsister with horns on her head is a little scary! Since the illustrations make them so sinister, the anticlimactic ending, where they gradually grow kinder, isn't as effective as a worse punishment would have been.

It starts out like a Cinderella retelling, but a LOT of extra bits get added on.

There’s elements of the Diamonds and Toads fairy tale with the sisters’ punishments, the Eros and Psyche ‘impossible tasks’ at the climax, a lot of Spanish-American 1830’s culture throughout, and oh boy a lot of Jesus time – first fairy tale I’ve ever seen to have the Holy Trinity walk in – and not even as subtext or symbols – they practically have name tags!

So, a bit of a kitchen sink of myths, but I think it work...more
Mary Catelli
A retelling of a fairy tale from the Southwest.

Definitely of the same type as Cinderella, in large chunks, but the impossible tasks get switches from what the heroine has to do to go to the ball, or instead of it, the stepmother sets them at the end, as the condition of her consent to the match. (And it's not a ball but a fiesta in honor of a saint.)

And she's not helped by her dead mother, because the tale opens with an episode of the kind and unkind girls, where religious figures are plopped d...more
Jaclyn Giordano
Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale, by Robert D. San Souci, is a picture book intended for readers in preschool through grade three. I gave it three stars. In this tale, beautiful Teresa takes care of both her mean-hearted stepfamily and also Blessed Mary, Saint Joseph, and the Holy Child. Blessed Mary rewards Teresa for her kind acts with a gold star upon her forehead while her stepmother and two sisters are given horns for their selfish and less than honorable acts. Ultimate...more
This is a really fascinating retelling of Cinderella. I really liked the switch of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the standard Fairy Godmother (still in blue, though!) and the mix-and-match of several different fairy tales to create this version. Everything made sense considering the culture it represents.
Year published: 2000
Grade level: K-5

This story follows the Cinderella story, but it has an influence that goes well with Spanish tradition, the inclusion of the Blessed Mary. Mary is a huge part of the Spanish culture so it makes sense that she should be the "fairy godmother" role in this story. It is also interesting how the Holy Family plays a part in this story too, because as Catholics, we are taught that Jesus could be anywhere at anytime. Obviously the step-sisters did not realize this and...more
Hundreds of Cinderella versions exist worldwide. Little Gold Star is a popular Southwest American version told by Robert San Souci. Adapted from traditional Spanish origin with roots in the original folktale, this version tells the story of Teresa’s struggle to adapt in new surroundings. Obeying the demands of her evil stepmother, Teresa is visited by the Blessed Mary who places a gold star on her forehead. The authentic language of Souci is complemented by the muted water color paintings of Ser...more
Leslie Morrison
This book is an interesting interpretation of the Cinderella story. It reflects the importance of the Catholic faith in the Spanish culture, placing Mary as the fairy godmother. Teresa and her evil step-sisters are tested by how well they treat the baby Jesus and his "father," Saint Joseph. Teresa and her sisters think the baby Jesus is just part of a poor family, living in a cottage down the lane. The art is a little wistful and at times downright creepy, but it fits well with the story and it'...more
In this Spanish version of Cinderella, the Blessed Mother Mary stands in for the fairy-godmother. Enjoyed this version.
Nov 30, 2007 Shawna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 1st-6th grade
Shelves: folklore
This book is the Mexican version of Cinderella. It includes a stepmother, 2 stepsisters, her father, her "prince", Jesus, Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. The story is perfect for teaching how different cultures see things and for a comparison on Cinderella stories. It could also be used when studying different cultures you see some of their folklore and be able to compare it to ours. I thought the Virgin Mary and Holy family part was a little weird but it makes sense when you think about the cultur...more
Dec 10, 2007 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2-6
Summary: Blessed Mary touches Teresa's forehead and a gold star appears. After being sent away by her stepmother for dancing with Don Miguel, he came to find her. When he finds her, her stepmother makes her complete tasks before she agrees to the marriage. With the help of the star, she is able to complete the tasks.

Reflection: Great Spanish Cinderella story! It uses religious figures such as St. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Themes/Connections: Cinderella, family, kindness
Sep 29, 2007 Alexis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 2nd-5th grade
Shelves: folklore, do-not-own
This book took the familiar story of Cinderella and added its own Spanish culture spin, including an appearance from the Virgin Mary. This story was highly entertaining to read because of the semi-ridiculous nature. It was not the most spectacular Cinderella story I have heard. It was also a little too long to keep my attention. I eagerly waited for the happy ending and just revenge and sadly I was greeted with a mediocre end. It's an interesting one time read.
Ali Strang
Age: 4-8
Review: This book is about a girl named Teresa who was blessed by Mother Mary with a gold star. Soon after, her step sisters were given horns and donkey ears in hopes for Teresa to outshine her step sisters at the festival. This is a spin off of Cinderella, but a Spanish version. It is great to introduce how stories are told differently all over the world and relate it to fantasy and different cultures.
Um, this story was kind of too weird for my taste. And it was most certainly Not biblically sound. I am pretty sure I would not read this book to children because they would get the wrong idea in their little heads and assume things that weren't true. I would not recommend.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Amanda Becker wood
A cultural tale of Cinderella. A lovely young lady meets the "Blessed Mary" and is blessed with a Golden Star on her forhead to show the world that she is beautiful on the inside. As the story goes, the step sisters are proven to be ugly inside, Cinderella meets a handsome rich man, and marries into wealth. In this story, her step mother and sisters are reformed though!
2=It's ok.

The dark-tones of the finely-drawn illustrations add a somber tone to this version of the New Mexican tale even in scenes like the dance. No fairy godmother, the Virgin Mary appears. I liked the weaving of the tasks the Virgin Mary gave each girl.

I feel there are more appealing books available with this story.
Marissa Garcia
Robert D. San Souci makes beautiful retellings of fairy tales from around the globe. Little Gold Star is no exception. The muted color palette and vintage style of the art highlights keeps the "far away" feeling of the traditional Cinderella tale, as does the religious element. It's a fine option for Cinderella around the world units.
This was a spanish (Mexican) culture version of Cinderella that is told with a religious aspect to it. It is a cute story that can be used in a catholic school as a supplement to the Cinderella story and to aide in teaching children about having faith and being kind, compassionate and respectful.
I read this book to my class because we are doing a comparative fairy tale unit. This one features Mary (in place of the typical fairy godmother), Joseph, and baby Jesus. It is so appropriate for Catholic school while still having the characteristics of a fairy tale.
This is a Cinderella tale but it incorporates Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as well. I don't think I have ever read a fairy tale with as much religious undertone as this one. It was pretty neat.
This book is a Spanish-American Cinderella tale. What I enjoyed about this version is that it doesn't have anyone killed in the story and the step-mother and step-sisters start to be nice in the end.
Oct 27, 2008 Marlene rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katie!
This is a picture book that I read in my early years. ( 2 years ago) I think that Little Gold Star is a great book. It is the Spanish version of the American fairytale Cinderella.
Jason Barney
This certainly was a different spin on the original Cinderella story, but I would use caution with this selection in a public school setting because of the religious connection it makes.
This "Cinderella" story included the Holy Family. It wasn't what I expected. I liked the fact that the step sisters grew horns due to their unpleasant behavior.
Glenn Kennedy
This is a version of Cinderella. Hr family ends up being nice to her as the story goes on. I would recommend this to the younger students.
Beautifully illustrated with soft and warm watercolors, this Spanish-American take on the Cinderella story was fascinating to read.
I thought it was very cute I liked the the religious elements that really brought out the Spanish American cultural elements.
Such a great book! A Spanish Cinderella spinoff that is really enjoyable. I laughed out loud at the donkey ear part!
The Reading Countess
This odd Spanish American Cinderella story took on a different feel with images of the Bible thrown into the mix...
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Mr. San Souci lives in San Francisco, California.
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