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The Irish Cinderlad
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The Irish Cinderlad

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Ever since he was a baby, Becan's only worry has been his big feet - until his widowed father remarries. His new stepmother and her three daughters feed him crusts of bread and banish him to work in the fields. So Becan runs away.
With the help of his only friend, a magical bull, he defeats a giant, slays a dragon, and rescues a princess. But before she can thank him, Becan
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 26th 2000 by HarperCollins (first published February 29th 1996)
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Feb 07, 2014 Gundula rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Cinderella tales and variations
A retelling of an Irish Cinderella-type fairy tale, featuring a male Cinderella (Shirley Climo is actually combining two traditional Irish tales), I quite enjoyed The Irish Cinderlad, both as a fairy tale in and of itself, but also as an interesting addition to the many Cinderella variations that can be found all over Europe and beyond. In the excellent and wonderfully informative author's note, Shirley Climo states that tales of male Cinderellas can be found in Scandinavia, England, Hungary, th ...more
Kathy Roderer
I love the reversal of gender roles in this interesting twist on the Cinderella tale. Becan has a wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and bemoans the size of his extra large feet. His “fairy godmother” is a bull who gives his life for Becan, but even after death stays with him, magically helping and protecting him. Becan is a hero, kills a giant, slays a dragon, and rescues a princess. The princess, who decides she wants to marry him, uses the extra large boot that he left behind in order to find ...more
Lindsay Johnson
"The Irish Cinderlad" is a traditional folktale because it descended from the original folktale, Cinderella. The Irish Cinderlad is an Irish version of the original fairy tale. This version is a bit different than Cinderella. Becan, a male, is the main character whose dad marries his step mother and gains three older sisters. The step mother and step sisters treat Becan poorly, so Becan decides to leave his family, where he meets a magical bull who feeds him lunch each day. Becan's stepsister fo ...more
Feb 14, 2014 LauraW rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to LauraW by: Gundula
I wish I had the money to collect Cinderella tales, as I find the cultural variations rather interesting. This one is, of course, most notable because the "Cinderella" is male. But a further variation is that the "fairy godmother" is a bull.

Unlike Gundula, I rather liked the illustrations, although the colors are very stereotypical (pink for girls; green and brown for boys).

This would be a good book for teachers to add to their collection if one of their writing projects is to take a familiar
Mar 02, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is another interesting story that brings the Cinderella tale alive from the perspective of a particular country. Shirley Climo has written several of these books and we've read them all .

This Irish tale presents the basic story with a boy as the lead character. The addition of a magical bull is an unusual facet of the story and we liked the way in which he defeats the giant and the dragon. The story is entertaining and the colorful illustrations complement the story nicely. We enjoyed read
Reading Level: Primary

This is a great book to compare with the original Cinderella. It can also be used to demonstrate how different cultures can have different versions of the same story. I love the role reversal in this story. The princess is looking for the man who lost his boot!
I liked this gender-swapped version of Cinderella, bull as fairy Godmother and all. The illustrations, which are slightly Celtic influenced, were charming, and the overall story ended up being relatively easy to follow, which isn't always the case with traditional folktales. The death of the bull was sad, of course, but Becan's eventual triumph at the end was satisfying. I also love that the boots are too big instead of two small, reversing the traditional shoe test. On the whole, this one is wo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
You mean to tell me there are variations of Cinderella where the protagonist is a boy?

Oh yes there are, my friends.

Okay, to get the formatting out of the way: I like the composition in this book between text and image. It's pleasant.

Now, to the fun part. Little Becan has really big feet, which have never been an issue for him till his father remarries. And his new mum and sisters basically boot him out (no pun intended) to herd the family's cattle. While doing so, he meets a giant bull, who ends
Nov 16, 2012 Kristi added it
Interest level: K-2
Lexile Reading Level: 730L
Genre: Fairy Tale/ Fantasy
Main Characters: Becon, Step Mother, Step Sisters, The Magical Bull,
Setting: Ireland

In the story of "The Irish Cinderlad", Becan's mother passed away and his father remarried. The woman had three daughters that she brought with her to live with Becan and his father. Neither the step mother, nor the step sisters were kind to Becan. The step sisters gave him all of the chores and the step mother did not take care of him li
Lindsey Watson
This is a story that is similar to the traditional Western folktale of Cinderella. This story has the main protagonist as a male instead of a female. The young man has abnormally large feet and is teased about it by his older stepsisters. He becomes friends with a bull who has non-animal like characteristics like being able to talk and magically provides the boy with food. The stepsisters do not like that the boy is a friend with the bull and they have him killed. The bull had told the boy that ...more
Jessica Winden
This is a story that is similar to the traditional Western folktale of Cinderella. This story has the main protagonist as a male instead of a female. The young man has abnormally large feet and is teased about it by his older stepsisters. He becomes friends with a bull who has non-animal like characteristics like being able to talk and magically provides the boy with food. The stepsisters do not like that the boy is a friend with the bull and they have him killed. The bull had told the boy that ...more
This Irish version has a young lad, Becan, who befriends a bull and runs away from his unkind stepmother and stepsisters. The bull then fights a gray bull and dies, but tells Becan to take his tail and use it when he needs help. Becan has to face some difficult challenges, but uses the bull tail along with his considerable courage to overcome these challenges. I appreciated the author's note.
This was a great book that told the story of Cinderella only with a few twist. First, it was about a male rather then a female. Next, it took place in Ireland. The young man has abnormally large feet and is teased about it by his older stepsisters. There are many things that are different in the plot too but they are very similar. I enjoyed the new perspective this book brings to such a traditional tale. It is a wonderful example of folktale. I also liked how the story ended with the girl asking ...more
Ms. Emerson
This book is great because I think it is sweet and romantic. There is also a lot of action and excitement to hold my attention. The part about swatting the giant with the bull's tail was thrilling and dangerous. I like the magic of being able to pull a meal on a cloth out of an ear. I was worried for the princess for fear Becan wouldn't defeat the dragon.
Aug 24, 2015 Cheyenne added it
Shelves: fairytales
I love that this book breaks gender stereotypes and is about a male "Cinderella. This story is a great to teach students about different culture. I would also read this story alongside the traditional Cinderella and create an anchor chart comparing the two stories.
It has been interesting reading all of Climo's Cinderella tales, and comparing and contrasting the differences. The Irish Cinderlad puts a whole new spin on the fairytale because of its change in motifs. Becan, an Irish boy, plays the main role in the story, whom is represented as the "Cinderlad". The villian characters are his step-mother and step sisters, whom banish him to the fields. His "helper" in the story is a bull, whom he befriends and uses his tail to help him defeat a dragon and a gi ...more
A book about a Cinderland? So fun! There is not much I can say about the story, other than it was entertaining and a nice variation of a Cinderella story. What I do want to point out is the interesting author's note at the back of the book. Shirley Climo wrote several Cinderella tales and they all have an author's note. What a great introduction to learning about the importance of reading the note an author writes either at the beginning of a book or the end. With The Irish Cinderlad I learned t ...more
Samantha Penrose
Okay, I have to admit...when I grabbed this from the two shelves full of Cinderella stories I didn't even realize that it said CinderLAD and not CinderELLA. That said, I was tickled to see that it was about a boy---after all, I loved sleeping bobby......As I read this though, I saw little similarity to the Cinderella story (a runaway, a magic bull, dragons and princesses, no ball....). It was there, but it was very loose (step family, missing boot...).
I wasn't too terribly entertained by the st
Cute. Tides have turned in this cute fairytale based on a real Irish fairytale. Illustrations are mediocre.
A cinderella version from Ireland, featuring a boy with huge feet and a magic bull.
I enjoyed this version of Cinderella- with a twist.
This is a very loooooong book to read to a 5 year old.
Mitchell Ary
i liked this book because its nice to swap the gender roles for the typical cinderella story. i enjoyed Becans character as well as the magic with in the book and the heroism displayed by such young boy. i will be adding this to my shelf.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Irish Cinderlad is an Irish version of Cinderella. This story takes a different twist on the original tale and it is very interesting. This book would be great to use to compare and contrast between different versions of Cinderella. It includes a little Irish culture, but not so much where I would use it when teaching about other cultures. This book could also be used to teach perspective because it’s told from a young boy’s view instead of a girl’s.
5/1/11 ** Getting ready to do a unit on Cinderella with my 4th graders. One of the things that I appreciate about Shirley Climo's retellings is that she cites her historical sources at the end of the book. I appreciated this Cinderella variant because it has such different motifs - a bull's tail, several trials that the Cinderella character has to go through, the gender difference.
This is a great story that would be wonderful is any folklore or folktale unit. I love to bring different versions of fairy tales out during the end of the year. I am Irish and really enjoyed reading this story. There are many illustrations of the country side and animals from Ireland. It is interesting to hear the story of Cinderella told about a boy. My students LOVE this.
Rll520a_Christina Coleman
Similar to the traditional Cinderella story. Instead of a girl as the main character, it was a boy. After his stepmother sent him to work in the fields, he developed a relationship with a bull. The bull prepared the boy, Cinderlad, for challenges he would face. In the end, Cinderlad saves the princess and she knows it was him becuase he fits the boot that was left behind.
Jacqueline Lang
I chose this book because it is set in Ireland which is my heritage. It was a very cute book about a boy who is shorter than everyone else and is not treated correctly by his family. He finds a friend in his animal who gives him power. It is basically a cinderella type story but the main character is a boy. Very cute illustrations, a great story!
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Children's book author. Ms. Climo and her husband live in northern California.
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