Orphaned at a young age she becomes the stepdaughter of Senora Micaela de la Fortuna and her daughter's Valentina y Dulce. I would recommend this book to anyone who has sought out Hispanic fairy tales for their children or students, and even suggest that it could be used in a Spanish age appropriate class.
Tomie dePaola has truly done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as the story is extremely heartwarming and dramatic at the same time. Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story is truly one of the best retellings of Cinderella I have ever read since it deals with Mexican culture and is a retelling of an old fairy tale, so children who love Mexican folktales and fairytales in general will definitely enjoy this book!
In this take of Cinderella, Adelita dreams of meeting her childhood friend at the ball. The step mother treated Adelita terribly even before her father died.
It's a bit disconcerting that the story's characters seem to know of the Cinderella story (Adelita' stepmother mocks the glass slipper), and the insertion of Spanish phrases into the text immediately followed by the English translation is clunky at times. However, I was bothered how the English translation immediately follows the Spanish phrase. We have a Tomie DePaola author study in 1st grade at my school, and for some strange reason, I have never read this story to my students.
The younger grades could focus on the enjoyment of this great story, and the older grades could delve into the similarities and differences and even write their own versions of Cinderella! Last but not least, I enjoyed that this book was using a traditional story that students were familiar with, but it included characters of a different ethnicity.
There is also a Spanish Phrases glossary in the back of the book, which you can ask your ESLs to teach you and the class prior to reading the book. After practicing the Spanish phrases, your class could make predictions of the outcome of the text, or create a KWL chart. What a nice community builder Adelita is as you and your class can practice the newly acquired Spanish phrases throughout the week and year.
He brings in his old nanny to help with the house chores and Adelita. Sadly, Adelita's father dies also leaving Adelita with her stepmother and stepsisters. Eventually, her stepmother makes the nanny leave.
Esperanza shows Adelita where her mother's old trunk was stored in the attic; Adelita goes to the ball dressed in her mother's dress and rebozo (shawl) using the name Cenicienta, or Cinderella.
However, in this Mexican story the twist is that Javier is looking for the identity of his wife with a rebozo-shawl. Having the spanish words throughout the text really engaged me into the story and kept the culture of the story as a dominant part.
It would be a good book to use when doing a lesson on the Mexican culture. Most children will be familiar with the Cinderella story so reading one in the Mexican culture can be interesting to them.