SOOTFACE: An Ojibwa
by Robert D. San Souci
Illustrated by Daniel San Souci
Dragonfly Books / Random House Children's Books , 1994
[AGES 4-8] paperback
ISBN 0-440-41363-X (pbk)
A spellbinding Native American version of the well-loved Cinderella story.
Once, an Ojibwa man whose wife had died raised three daughters alone. The two older girls were lazy and bad-tempered, and made their youngest sister do all the work. When the flames from the cooking fire singed her hair or burned her skin, they laughed and called her Sootface.
While she worked, Sootface dreamed that one day she would find a husband. Then a mightly warrior with the power to make himself invisible decided to marry. Only a woman with a kind and honest heart could see him, and be his bride.
Though her sisters ridicule her, Sootface sets off to try her luck, never looking back. Her courage and good nature bring her the husband she has longed for.
"The retelling is lively, flows well, and brings out the harshness of the heroine's situation, and yet it is not without humorous touches. The full-page watercolors dramatically convey the natural woodland setting, the jeers of Sootface's sisters and fellow villagers, and the serenity and kindness of the warrior and his sister. Sootface's dazed expression remains rather similar throughout-until the end, when she is transformed by love into a beautiful girl. Altogether a refreshing and rewarding ``Cinderella'' variant." -- School Library Journal
"One of the strongest retelling voices in America, Robert San Souci recounts Sootface: An Objibwa Cinderella Story. Mistreated by her sisters, burned and singed by the cook fire, Sootface dreams of a better life. Dreaming gives her true vision to see and marry the invisible warrior whom every woman desires." -- Children's Literature
"The illustrations are wonderful, one could take them from the book and put them in frames to hang on the wall. The smooth and calming colors are very relaxing. They would make beautiful artist work." -- Bookreviews
Robert and Daniel San Souci are the award-winning author and illustrator of many popular books for young readers, including THE LEGEND OF SCARFACE and SONG OF SEDNA, also based on Native American folklore.