From Algonquin Indian folklore comes one of the most haunting, powerful versions of the Cinderella tale ever told. In a village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived an invisible being. All the young women wanted to marry him because he was rich, powerful, and supposedly very handsome. But to marry the invisible being the women had to prove to his sister that they had seen him. And none had been able to get past the sister’s stern, all-knowing gaze. Then came the Rough-Face girl, scarred from working by the fire. Could she succeed where her beautiful, cruel sisters had failed?
In this Algonquin version of the Cinderella story, our heroine has some different qualities than we are used to seeing in similar tales. While the older wicked sisters are characteristically self-centered and preoccupied with having beautiful things to flatter their vanity, our heroine is the very picture of humility. Also, in sharp contrast with her sisters who will say and pretend anything in the interest of self-promotion, Rough-face Girl sees things as they are; she sees the many beauties in the world around her, depicted by David Shannon’s in brilliant illustrations. She sees the Invisible Being as he is, and is seen by both him and his sister, not as she appears to her sisters and the other villagers with her scarred face and hands, but as her essential self. I enjoyed the unique aspects of the Algonquin tale very much.
Rafe Martin is an internationally known, award-winning author and storyteller. His books and tapes have received national and regional acclaim, including: ALA Notable Children’s Book distinction, Parent’s Choice Gold Awards, the Anne Izard Storytellers Choice Award, and Honor Book for the 1994 Texas Bluebonnet Award. His work as a storyteller has been cited by the Women’s National Book Association, which presented him with the Lucille Micheels Pannell Award for his “unique creativity and effectiveness in bringing children and books together.”As a noted storyteller and speaker, Rafe Martin has been featured at many prestigious events and institutions such as the National Storytelling Festival, the American Booksellers Association National Convention, the American Library Association Annual Conference, the Whole Language Umbrella Annual Conference, the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference, the American Museum of Natural History, the Vassar College Summer Institute on Children’s Book Publishing, to name just a few; as well as countless schools, libraries, whole language, TESOL, and reading association events around the United States and as far away as Japan.Rafe Martin is dedicated to creating literature that empowers children’s imaginations. Drawing on the world’s tradition of tales, as well as a growing number of his original stories, he seeks to pass on the storyteller’s primary gifts: faith in the creative imagination and in the power of wish and dream; awareness of the interrelation of all living things; respect for the vision of the earth’s many cultures; and delight in the mysteries of language–mere sounds on the air, or squiggles on paper–which allow us to use our own minds to see. Language and stories, he feels, are not only our oldest technologies but our most precious resources. How can T.V. begin to compare!Rafe Martin has a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, where he studied with such noted figures as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. He and his wife, Rose, used to own and manage the Ox Cart Book Shop in Rochester, New York. It was here that Rafe Martin first began to explore his talent and skills in storytelling to which he now devotes his time. The Martins live in Rochester, New York, with their Siberian Husky, and two cats. They also have two grown children. When not working, Rafe often goes to his cabin in the Adirondacks. Situated on a river, it allows him to practice his favorite sport–kayaking.copyright (c) 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
David Shannon is the internationally acclaimed creator of more than 30 picture books, including <i>No, David!</i>, a Caldecott Honor Book and his second <i>New York Times</i> Best Illustrated Book of the Year, and four more David picture books. Shannon’s bestsellers include <i>A Bad Case of Stripes</i>, <i>Duck on a Bike</i>, and <i>Too Many Toys!</i> His most recent book is <i>Bizzy Mizz Lizzie</i>. He lives in California with his family.