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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yeh Shen - China's (More Original?) Cinderella

One of the books that people ask for regularly is Yeh-Shen, a Cinderella Story from China, the version of Ai-Ling Louie and illustrated by Ed Young.

Yeh-Shen's story is about an orphan girl who is overworked to serve her stepmother and sister. She befriends a fish, which her stepmother cooks and eats. Nobody knew the fish was magical and Yeh-Shen soon found out that the fish's bones can be asked wishes from. Yeh Shen also gets to attend a big party while her stepmother thinks she was at home doing housework. Yeh Shen leaves behind one shoe that somehow gets into the king's possession.

All sounds familiar? While Yeh Shen may sound like a copycat straight from the plagiarism department of Cinderella, guess again. Yeh Shen was written around the 850 A. D., about a cool thousand years older than the earliest version of Cinderella. So definitely, mo plagiarism case in court for this one.

Anyway, I'm sharing this because I know how Cinderella-crazy little girls can get. Admit it, when you were younger, you liked Cinderella much better than the other fairy tales (Or if not you, then someone you know.)

Little girls will surely also like Yeh Shen, so please do take a peek over at the Yeh Shen Page and get a copy for your little girl.

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