Estrellita de oro (Little Gold Star): A Cinderella Cuento by (Adapted by) Joe Hayes

Estrellita de oro (Little Gold Star): A Cinderella Cuento by (Adapted by) Joe Hayes

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In this Spanish version, Arcia receives a gold star from a magical hawk while her sisters are rewarded with much more unpleasant symbols of their characters. This retelling is humorous and differs from more traditional versions. It is bilingual in English and Spanish. Hardcover

A Review from Booklist states:
"Hayes, a veteran folklorist, offers an engaging telling of "Cinderella" that is popular in the mountain communities of New Mexico. There are some significant variations that add depth to the story, making it in many ways more interesting than the original. Arcia, the Cinderella figure, wants her father to marry, even though he warns her that the stepmother's sweetness "will turn bitter in time." True enough. When her father goes to the mountains to tend his sheep, Arcia becomes the unloved workhorse. In a bit of folktale mixing, Arcia gets a gold star on her forehead from a hawk, while her stepsisters get a horn and donkey's ear for their cruelty. It is by the star that the wealthy young prince remembers Arcia; and with a talking cat's help, he finds her.

The English text, which is made full-bodied by its many details, appears with a Spanish translation. The impressive acrylic illustrations, done in a sturdy folk-art style, are thick with color and bright with humor."

- Ilene Cooper


A Review from School Library Journal Grade 1-4 states:
"When young Arcia tries to convince her father to marry the woman next door, he warns her that, "Today Margarita is so sweet and kind,/But her sweetness will turn bitter with time." Sure enough, soon after the marriage, Margarita favors her own two selfish daughters, and her stepdaughter is reduced to being a servant. The gift of sheep, one for each girl, from Arcia's shepherd father sets things in motion. His daughter's lamb grows large and healthy, and once it is sheared, a hawk appears and steals the wool. When Arcia asks for it back, the bird tells her to look where he flies. When she does, a gold star drifts from the sky and fastens itself to her forehead. Naturally, the jealous sisters want gold stars, too. However, one ends up sprouting a donkey's ear and the other a green horn. Arcia doesn't go to the ball in this version; she merely peeks in the window and the prince falls in love at first sight.

The telling, in both English and a charming colloquial Spanish, is crisp, lively, and individual. It is well matched by the primitive, acrylic-on-art-board paintings that blend vivid colors with strong lines to impel the movement of the story. The unique flavor of this retelling from the American Southwest makes this not only a good introduction to the teller's art, but also an engaging entrée into Hispanic culture."

Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition
Book Awards & Honors
  • Nick Jr. Magazine, December/January Issue
  • One of the 30 Best Books of the Year
Illustrations by: Gloria Osuna Perez & Lucia Angela Perez
PAPERBACK  32 Pages