Synopses & Reviews
‘Climo and Heller conflate several Korean variants of Cinderella to offer up the story of Pear Blossom, a lovely girl who is sorely mistreated by her nasty stepmother and stepsister.… At once comfortingly familiar and intriguingly exotic, the text is especially noteworthy for its instructive but unobtrusive incorporation of Korean words.—Publishers Weekly. ‘Hellers paintings are exotically lush and colorful as well as engaging.… An agreeable retelling of the Cinderella story. —BL.
Notable 1994 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
About the Author
Shirley Climo's love of folklore began in her childhood and has provided the background for many of her children's books, such as The Korean Cinderella, Magic &Mischief: Tales from Cornwall, A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World, A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World, and Someone Saw a Spider: Spider Facts and Folktales, an NCTE Teacher's Choice and Library of Congress Best Children's Book that was originally inspired by her research for Cobweb Christmas. Mrs. Climo and her husband live in Los Altos, California. In Her Own Words...
"To write children's books always seemed the most wonderful goal in the world to me-and the most natural. My earliest memories are of being rocked in a creaky wicker swing while my mother, a children's book author, tried out various versions of her stories. Long before I could read, I'd begun telling my own tales to anyone willing to listen.
"I grew up, raised three children, a half dozen dogs, a clutch of cats, a horse, and a straggle of chickens. Each new addition provided story-telling material, and many two-legged and four-legged household members found their way into print. Even more important, I found that writing for young people was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped.
"My first book was Piskies, Spriggans and Other Magical Beings, a collection of folklore. My latest book is a revised and newly illustrated edition of Cobweb Christmas. Like the tradition of tinsel itself, the story of the spider's Christmas has become a part of holiday celebrations around the world. Its message of kindness to animals is as fresh today as it was when Cobweb Christmas was first told in Germany over two hundred years ago. In the twenty years between those two books, I've written picture books for the just-in-school set, chapter books for primary readers, story collections and nonfiction for middle grades, novels for preteens, and four retellings of the Cinderella theme -- Egyptian, Korean, Irish, and Persian. I seldom stray very far or for very long from the favorite folktales of my childhood.
"A century ago, folklorist Andrew Lang said, "Nobody can write a new fairy tale; you can only mix up the old stories and put the characters into new dresses."
"For me, playing dress-up is fun at any age. "