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The Egyptian Cinderella

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,215 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
"Climo has woven this ancient tale, a mixture of fact and myth, with clarity and eloquence. The beauty of the language is set off to perfection by Heller's arresting illustrations. A stunning combination of fluent prose and exquisitely wrought illustrations that makes] a winner for story hours, as well as a useful resource for the study of Cinderella through the ages." -- ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 28th 1992 by HarperCollins (first published September 15th 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,299)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 30, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who are interested in alternate versions of the Cinderella fairy tale
Well, I have 4 more picture books to read in 2010, two illustrated by Ruth Heller and two both written & illustrated by her. I’m glad that I’m reading this book and The Korean Cinderella in succession; it will be interesting to compare them. Both are written by Shirley Climo.

I enjoy Heller’s work, and I’ve read many of her books (and I own quite a few) but I recently noticed that I’ve been unaware of some books by her or at least illustrated by her.

While I read this book because of the illus
Julia Drescher
Rhodopis is the Egyptian Cinderella in this text who, as a child, was stolen by pirates. Rhodopis is surrounded by servant girls who look and act different from her. Her name means "rosy-cheeked" in Greek which is where she was captured from. While the servant girls tease Rhodopis and bark orders at her, her master believes she is different. He gives her a beautiful pair of slippers.
The story then begins to follow the traditional story of Cinderella to some extent. The prince in this story is th
Apr 28, 2014 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A great educational book for your children over the preschool age. My 6 yr old loved it. Lots of good information with beautiful pictures that will help keep children engaged. A great addition to any children's library.
Aug 10, 2014 Libby rated it liked it
I *loved* this book as a child--I think partly because it was my first introduction to the idea that fairy tales can have different versions. Reading it to my kids as an adult, I still enjoy the story and the pictures, and I think it's interesting that Climo did some research and that the story apparently has some (small) basis in history.

BUT, I think that there are some racial overtones that I didn't pick up on as a kid and that I don't like. Rhodopis, the Cinderella figure, is described as "r
Sep 09, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo and Ruth Heller and after reading some of the reviews, I realized they had collaborated on another Cinderella variant as well.

This was an entertaining version of the classic tale. The narrative is interesting and incorporates Egyptian culture. I thought it was fascinating that the story is based on actual people and is one of the oldest versions of the 'Cinderella'-type tale. The illustrations are colorful and complement the story nicely.
Feb 05, 2013 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
Rhodopis was taken as a child from her home in Greece and sold into enslavement in Egypt. The household Egyptian servants were jealous after she received a gift of rose-red slippers from her master, later to be lost and found by Pharaoh Amasis. A servant says that Rhodopis is a slave and she isn’t even Egyptian but the pharaoh defends his future bride with, ”She is the most Egyptian of all, for her eyes are as green as the Nile, her hair as feathery as papyrus and her skin the pink of a lotus fl ...more
The descriptive language in this book is beautiful, as are the illustrations. The story flows very well. As I read it, I enjoyed making comparisons between this version and the more traditional version of the story. I also thought of all the connections I could make when I teach Ancient Egypt next year to my students. This book would be a great lead into study of daily life in Ancient Egypt, as well as the gods, the pharaohs, geography, and a literature comparison between different versions of C ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Katina rated it liked it
The tale of Rhodopis is taken from both fact and fiction. This Cinderella was born in a northern part of Greece and then kidnapped by pirates and taken to Egypt. As a person from Greek decent I was never told of this story or this version of the story. It was interesting to read and learn a little more about my culture. Amasis is the Pharaoh. When a slipper is dropped into his lap he believes the god Horus sends it to him as a sign. "Every maiden in Egypt must try this shoe! She whose foot it fi ...more
I really enjoyed this Cinderella retelling, mostly for all of the different and unique elements. However, it only gets three stars because of said appreciation of how interesting it was. Otherwise, this sucker would get one or two stars for the awful illustrations. They were loud, trippy, and just plain ugly. They hurt to look at.
Mar 26, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
So this was based on an actual Greek slave girl, but even Cohen pointed out how she was white and blond and therefore "good" while the Egyptian slave girls were like the wicked stepsisters.
Julia Brumfield
Aug 18, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it it was ok
I have read about two different variations of the Egyptian Cinderella story. The first is of course this particular story about the Grecian slave Rhodopis, which is suppose to be based on factual events while there is another Egyptian story that includes a comb that falls into the Nile instead of a falcon carrying off a slipper.

In a sense I prefer the Egyptian Cinderella story that is about the comb more since it fits more to me as an Egyptian Cinderella while the other is more of a Grecian ou
Stephanie Gamache
Mar 30, 2016 Stephanie Gamache rated it really liked it
Shelves: etec-545-class-3
Climo, S., & Heller, R. (1989). The Egyptian Cinderella. New York: Crowell.
Target Audience: Ages 3 - 8
Genre: Folktale (Fairytale) – motif: Cinderella

In this unique and beautiful version of the Cinderella story, Rhodopis is a fair skinned beauty who was stolen from her home in Greece and sold as a slave in Egypt. Even while the other house servants make her do their work she has found comfort in the animals around her, and in singing and dancing. Upon seeing her sing and dance Rhodopis’s mas
Kayla Ross
Title: The Egyptian Cinderella
Author: Shirley Climo
Illustrator: Ruth Heller
Genre: Egyptian Folktale
Theme(s): Destiny, Pride, Greediness
Opening line/sentence: “Long ago, in the land of Egypt, where the green Nile River widens to meet the blue sea, there lived a maiden called Rhodopis. When she was still a small child, Rhodopis had been stolen by pirates. She was snatched from her home in Greece, taken across the sea to Egypt, and there sold as a slave.”
Brief Book Summary: This Egyptian version o
Lucila Perez
Dec 06, 2014 Lucila Perez rated it it was amazing
I love the illustrations in this text. They are very vibrant and very detailed.This classic fairytale turned foreign is an exciting, inventive read. A fun mixture of fact and fiction, the story combines the culture of two worlds and makes for an intriguing read for anyone. I think this would be a good book for students in Kindergarten.It is a great lesson that can be taught about accepting others who are different. Rhodopis is the Egyptian Cinderella in this text who, as a child, was stolen by p ...more
Sofia Davis
Oct 22, 2014 Sofia Davis rated it it was amazing
In the book The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo is a book based off the classic story Cinderella. In this book Rhodopis is a young Greek girl who was stolen by pirates and forced into slavery in ancient Egypt. She looks and acts different than the rest of the servant girls, causing them to tease and order her around. Although, her master sees something different in her. One day her master gives her a pair of rosy red slippers which she falls in love with immediately. Although sadly, a falcon ...more
Oct 09, 2015 MaryannP rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
This is an Egyptian Cinderella tale about a maiden named Rhodopis. She was originally from Greece and was stolen and taken to Egypt where she was sold as a slave. She looked very different than the other servant girls and the girls were very mean to her because of it. The first picked on her and bossed her around to do everything.

Rhodopis made friends with the animals and enjoyed dancing to cheer herself up. Her master awoke one day, he liked to sleep a lot, and noticed her dancing. He loved it
Elizabeth Byers
This book is about a beautiful princess who is of Egyptian culture. Her name is Rhodopis which means rosey cheeked. is the Egyptian Cinderella who was stolen by pirates when she was a child. Rhodopis was constantly around servant girls who look and act different from her. While the servant girls tease Rhodopis and treat her terribly, her master believes there is something special about her and he gives her a beautiful pair of slippers. As the story goes on, it tells about how the Pharaoh Amasis ...more
Tammy J
Oct 12, 2015 Tammy J rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
It is so nice to see how a fairy tale can be so different depending on the area of origin. In this story, it took place in Egypt where the green Nile river widens to meet the blue sea. Immediately, I see a geography lesson for older elementary children. Rhodapis (rosey cheecked) was the name of the girl who had been stolen by pirates. She was snatched from her home in Greece, taken across the sea to Egypt and was sold as a slave. The two girls were servants and they all lived in a home with thei ...more
May 02, 2016 Belen rated it liked it
Shelves: traditional-lit
The Egyptian Cinderella is somewhat similar to the traditional Cinderella story. This books focuses on how an Greek maiden called Rhodopis is "bullied" or pushed aside because she is a slave and not Egyptian. In this story a falcon acts as a fairy godmother who takes her shoe (slipper) away from her and basically takes it to the prince. The prince goes on a hunt for her until he finds her and end up getting married which results in her becoming The Egyptian Cinderella. Something that I found int ...more
Kathryn Reeder
Dec 08, 2014 Kathryn Reeder rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2014 Andressa rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This classic fairytale turned foreign is an exciting, inventive read. A fun mixture of fact and fiction, the story combines the culture of two worlds and makes for an intriguing read for anyone. Rhodopis indeed existed, and was a Greek who married an Egyptian pharaoh, and this book gives an interesting idea of how Rhodopis's life could have been. The fact that she was not actually Egyptian and that she was a slave in Egypt who married the pharaoh is what makes it akin to the familiar fairytale. ...more
Jessica Valdez
Overall, I truly did love this book. I thought that the extreme differences comparing this story to the Walt Disney version or shall I say the American version are what made this story that much more enjoyable for me. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful, and the story itself was not too shabby. Although the author did say that Rhodopis was stolen by pirates from her home in Greece, taken to Egypt, and there she was sold as a slave, I think that after accounting for the entire story, it w ...more
Katie Pagan
Jan 08, 2016 Katie Pagan rated it it was ok
I read this book too late to enjoy it. As a small girl, I would have just relished the familiar retelling of my all-time favorite fairy tale. But I read it as a junior classics student in college, the semester I was taking several classes on Egypt and how it was influenced by the Hellenistic period, no less. Therefore, I just couldn't read it without thinking about my lectures and readings on ancient Egyptian people and traditions slowly consumed by the historical forces of Alexander the Great a ...more
May 01, 2015 Jorge rated it really liked it
The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, is one of my favorite traditional versions of Cinderella. The protagonist- Rhodopis- is a Greek girl who was stolen by pirates and sold as a slave in Egypt. She was treated cruelly by fellow servants, much like the traditional Cinderella is treated poorly by her step sisters. Also like the traditional Cinderella, Rhodopis was a kind gentle soul who befriended all the animals around her. She was rewarded golden slippers from her master for her amazing dan ...more
Angela Ahrendt
Apr 29, 2015 Angela Ahrendt rated it it was amazing
The Egyptian Cinderella uses beautiful illustrations to show that classic fairly tales can have more than one version, and the stories of certain fairly tales may be present in many different cultures around the world. This story can be used in different ways throughout all ages of elementary school students, in the younger grades to explore different cultures, and in the older grades to potentially look at the differences of fairy tales among cultures or explore literature from around the world ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Sydney rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore
I love Cinderella. I have read many different versions but this is the first time I found a version where Cinderella did not attend the ball and her sisters arrived after it had ended. I thought that was unique and interesting because the Disney Cinderella runs away and her shoe is left behind. In this twisted version, the shoe is dropped in the Pharaohs lap and he takes it as a sign from the Gods. I would add this to my collection just so I can show the differences in culture in my classroom.
Jan 31, 2014 Laurie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Simpson-Urrutia
Sep 02, 2012 Julia Simpson-Urrutia rated it really liked it
The Egyptian Cinderella takes the reader back to the first century B.C. with one of the earliest versions of the Cinderella story. The book's protagonist of the beautiful, blonde Greek slave girl is based on the Greek slave girl Rhodopis, who married the Pharaoh Amasis, ruling from 570-526 B.C. during the 26th dynasty (ah-may-ses). She became his queen.

Shirley Climo keeps close to the original story first recorded by the Roman historian Strabo. Only slightly does she do her own literary embellis
Erica J
Feb 09, 2011 Erica J rated it did not like it
The Egyptian Cinderella is not a front runner in the Cinderella retelling race in my opinion. Personally, I did not care for this book. When I think of an Egyptian Cinderella, a blonde haired, blue eyed woman does not come to mind. A true Egyptian Cinderella should be just that Egyptian. I also did not like the illustrations describing her as having beautiful blue eyes, etc because I felt that it was implying that her features were superior. A true Egyptian Cinderella in my personal opinion shou ...more
Lisa Frase
Mar 24, 2011 Lisa Frase rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo is not just another Cinderella story; it is one of the oldest versions known to exist, and there is a grain of factual truth to it.

Today my 4th graders traveled to Egypt and learned that slavery occurred long before America existed. It was not uncommon for pirates to snatch women and children from one country and carry them off to another country and sell them as slaves. In fact, the slave trade was rather prevalent all throughout Europe and Asia. In this
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Children's book author. Ms. Climo and her husband live in northern California.
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