By Jewell Reinhart Coburn
Review by Allison Martin
Jauanah, A Hmong Cinderella is the familiar story of Cinderella, the poor overworked step-daughter who marries the handsome prince, in the setting and context of a Hmong village. As the story starts out, the Hmong parents need a cow but can not find one to buy. The wife sacrifices herself for her family, becoming a cow to work the farm. The farmer remarries and the step mother plays mean tricks on the daughter - giving her extra work and little food. In the Hmong version of the story, the daughter is referred to as an 'orphan' - in the end she marries the village chief's son.
The illustrations are wonderfully evocative of Hmong culture and convey a sense of pride and appreciation that is will be welcome to adoptive parents. Beautiful clothes are worn for the New Year's festival and Hmong games, dances are painted with great appeal and the village set in the jungle is warm and romantic. This book would make a wonderful addition to your collection of children's illustrated books or as a gift.
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