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Yeh-Shen por Ai-Ling Louie
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Yeh-Shen (original 1982; edição 1982)

por Ai-Ling Louie

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9526517,132 (3.55)4
This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.
Membro:Steppsk
Título:Yeh-Shen
Autores:Ai-Ling Louie
Informação:Penguin, 31 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China por Ai-Ling Louie (1982)

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As much as I enjoy the fact that the Cinderella story is one which is retold in almost every culture around the world, this rendition leaves much wanting. The story itself is wonderful, due to Louie's clear and concise prose, but the illustrations did not mesh well with the narrative. Clearly the designer of the book was trying to emulate Chinese aesthetics, but Young's illustrations were placed oddly in relation to the text and rarely seemd to actually illuminate the story. This overall dissonance was further enhanced by the fact that there was so much white space on the pages, both in relation to the illustrated portions and the text boxes, which really acted as a detriment to the overall aesthetics than to act as a balance to the interactions of the illustrations and text. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Yeh-Shen is mistreated by her cruel stepmother in this Chinese Cinderella story, taken from the 9th-century collection, The Miscellaneous Record of You Yang. Made to do all of the work and dressed in rags, Yeh-Shen's only comfort is the magical fish she befriends. When this too is taken by her stepmother, she is in despair, until she discovers that the bones of her fish can still speak to her, and can grant her wishes. Using this magic to attend a festival, she leaves behind one of her golden slippers, and when this footwear finds its way into the hands of a king, her life is transformed...

Originally published in 1982, Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China was a tale handed down in author Ai-Ling Louie's family, and is one she was surprised to discover predated the European variant of the story (which first saw print in 1634 AD) by some centuries. She makes this point in her brief note, and includes a reproduction of the original Chinese text of her tale. It's interesting to note that Louie speculates that this tale-type might have traveled from Asia to Europe, given the difference of recorded dates between the two versions. I'm not sure what the state of research into the subject was, back in the 80s, but I think this idea is called into question by the existence of the Egyptian Cinderella story of Rhodopis, which was recorded in the late first century BC by the Greek geographer Strabo, and then in the work of the Roman author Aelian (ca. 175–235 AD). Of course, it is still possible that the story originated in Asia, and simply traveled west far earlier than Louie posited. But when it comes to the written record, the Egyptian variant of this story is certainly the earliest recorded, that we know of.

Leaving all of that aside, this was an engaging story, one with many familiar elements - the cruel stepfamily, the magical aid to the heroine, the dainty slipper which inspires a king to seek out its owner - and some others that were quite different from the version with which many western readers will be familiar. I was struck by the fact that the king in question becomes enchanted with Yeh-Shen simply by looking at her slipper, without ever having seen her in person. This was quite similar to the scenario in The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story, which relates an Iraqi version of the tale. It's clear that part of what enchanted the king here is the smallness of the slipper, making me wonder about the relationship of this idea - the desirability of small and dainty feet on women - to the Chinese practice of foot-binding. That is something I would have been interested to see explored, in the author's note, although sadly Louie does not mention it. The accompanying artwork from Ed Young, done in pastel and watercolor, has a delicate beauty that is well-suited to the tale, and add a sense of mystery and enchantment to the reading experience. Recommended to young folk and fairy-tale lovers, and to readers interested in Cinderella stories. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Oct 6, 2020 |
The tale of Yeh-Shen had been told in her family for three generations when, to her surprise, a research trail led Ms. Louie to the Cinderella of her grandmother’s story as recorded in an ancient Chinese manuscript, which is reproduced in this book. Further research confirmed that the story had been told in China since the days of the T’ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), whereas the earliest known European version is an Italian tale dating from 1634.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Aug 17, 2020 |
I love the story of Cinderella. This is a great cultural twist on it. I was so engaged throughout the semester. ( )
  mavaugh2 | Nov 19, 2019 |
Cinderella is known in all types of cultures. Join Yeh-Shen as she transforms from a poor woman to a beautiful princess with the help of her fish bones. ( )
  smnunnery | Sep 30, 2019 |
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In the dim past, even before the Ch'in and Han dynasties, there lived a cave chief of southern China by the name of Wu.
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This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.

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