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Amy S > Traditional Literature (Choose 2)

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Amy Stevens | 26 comments A Korean Cinderella

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy Stevens | 26 comments I changed my mind. Since I already wrote and discussed Jon Scieszka in my author study presentation, I decided to read something else. I was delighted to come across Leola and the Honeybears by Melodye Benson Rosales. This piece of Traditional Literature is an African-American retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Leola gets lost wandering into the woods and is frightened by Mr. Weasel. Running of leads to the discovery of the cottage. Rather than eating porridge, this little girls samples plum pie, rose cobbler and a huckleberry tart. Eventually Leola falls asleep, is discovered by the bears and is frightened the bears will eat her. The mama bear asks if Leola has any manners and they form a friendship. Mama Honeybear lovingly guides Leola back through the woods to her grandma's house.

I love this text because of the multicultural viewpoint of the book. I enjoyed this version so much better than the familiar. Often I find myself shocked that my students have missed these classic pieces of literature that many of us have been exposed to. Leola and the Honeybears allows me to bring traditional lit to my students, yet honor their culture and heritage at the same time.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Stevens | 26 comments The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo is just as the title says. The illustrations in the text reflect that of traditional Korean clothing with the females wearing hanboks (pronounced haan bow) throughout the text. The Cinderella in this version is named Pear Blossom. She is named after the pear tree planted in honor of her birth for her parents to pay tribute to their good fortune of having a child. Pear Blossom is tended to by her mother daily and adorned with beautiful clothing and with ribbons woven into her braids. Suddenly her mother dies and her father is concerned about who will take care of his daughter. He decides to see the matchmaker who sets him up with his new wife and her daughter (There is only one step-sister in this version).

The stepmother, true to form, treats Pear Blossom horribly, dressing her in rags and forcing her to clean, cook and tend to the fire. Pear Blossom is referred to as "Pigling" by the two enemies. The stepmother constantly plots how to "send the pigling to the market." Omoni sets out to make it difficult for Pear Blossom to complete a task thus in the failure, giving Omoni the excuse to rid herself of the girl.

Along each task, an animal comes to Pear Blossom's aid allowing her success. There is a village festival that Pear Blossom can only go to once she weeds the entire rice paddy. An ox comes to her rescue thus once again allowing success in a task. Pear Blossoms runs off to the festival but is stopped by a magistrate and his attendants, she is embarrassed by her looks, so she hides behind a tree. The magistrate sees her and calls out to the girl, she runs off dropping her straw sand into a stream. The magistrate orders the sandal to be picked up as he is awed by Pear Blossom's beauty.

While in the village, Omoni accuses Pear Blossom of trickery as the magistrate comes in to announce he'll marry the girl with only one shoe. Omoni laughs and says that the magistrate is really there to arrest Pear Blossom. In the end, the magistrate and Pear Blossom do marry.

The author states that this version is actually a combination of three different Cinderella stories told in Korea. I initially bought this book for two reasons: 1) our daughter Reagan is South Korean and I wanted her to have a folk tale from her birth country and 2) Our daughter's name, Yi literally translates to Pear Blossom.

As an adoptive parent of internationally adopted children, I feel it is crucial for my children to have pieces of their birth heritage in our home. We celebrate our transracial family and I tell people that I am Vietnamese and Korean too.


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