Cinderella Around the World

By Gina Reich Guzman. Reprinted with permission.


*The Anklet from 1001 Arabian Nights [Middle Eastern, Bagdad?]

The Golden Slipper: A Vietnamese Legend Retold by Darrell Lum and illustrated by Makiki Nagano  (Legends of the World series)

Tam’s Slipper: A Story from Vietnam Retold by Janet Palazzo-Craig and illustrated by Makiko Nagano (First Start Legends series, the beginner version of Legends of the World) 

The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Ruth Heller

The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie and illustrated by Ed Young

The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin and illustrated by David Shannon [Algonquin]

Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story by Robert San Souci and illustrated by Daniel San Souci

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Step-Toe [Medieval Zimbabwe]

The Korean Cinderella by Shirely Climo and Ruth Heller

The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Robet Florczak

The Talking Eggs by Robert San Souci and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney[Creole]

Cinderella by Charles Perrault, retold by Loek Koopmans and illustrated by Anthea Bell [French]

The Salmon Princess: An Alaska Cinderella Story by Mindy Dwyer 

The Indian Cinderella is found in The Children’s Book of Virtues by William Bennett 


Some of these, like Yeh-Shen, are based on traditional retellings while others, such as the versions by Shirley Climo, are not.

The Cinderella type fairy tale is the oldest and most ubiquitus in the world. Over 900 version have been found world-wide. **

-A comparison of these two would be particularly interesting since the Creole, Cajun and Gullah versions of Cinderella would be based on the French version brought to America by French emigres. You could use it to reflect how the story and language changed due to time and place or to show the intertwining of the white French culture with the black Creole culture. 

Recently several multicultural Cinderalla stories have been published.  You will find them listed at places like My list reflects the ones I have actually used or collected myself. Not all of the recently published version are of good quality nor accurately reflect the culture portrayed. 

*I have not listed a particular book for Middle Eastern version of the The Anklet because the best versions are found within 1001 Arabian Night compilations rather than in single picture book forms. 

Vietnamese versions are often called The Brocaded Slipper rathe than the Golden Slipper. Some are available as chapter books. 


Teaching With Cinderella Stories  from Around the World. Scholastic. Grades 1-3. Somewhat limited but a good place to start.

 Cinderella Stories by Continent This site lists Cinderella stories for every single continent including Antarctica!  


1. The impossible menial tasks Cinderalla is asked to perform reflect the culture of the story and show her low position in the household. 

2.  She is always helped by supernatural powers, often, but not always, these are related to her mother. 

3. Her magical clothing always reflects the most elegant attire of the culture.

4. The hero and heroine meet in a place that is important to the culture whether it be a ball, a church or a wigwam.

5. The male hero is always of noble birth and elevated status.

6. Over half of the versions include cruel stepmothers and step-siblings.

7. All of the versions include a test of some sort, but only some of these tests include a shoe.

8. In some of the tales the stepmother and stepsisters meet violent ends.

9. All of the versions reflect the cultures that tell their story. 


1. Story Origin

2. Cause of Lowly Position

3. Outwards Signs of This Position

4. Cinderell’as Relationship to Household

5. How She Receives Wishes

6. What Keeps Her From Social Occasion

7. Where She Meets the Prince

8. Test of Rightful Cinderella

9. What Happens to Stepmother/sisters

**Paraphrased from Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children’s Literature by Donna Norton. 3rd. Edition. MacMillan Pub. Co. 1991.