The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story

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9780316713146: The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story
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To a young girl who tends turkeys for a living, an opportunity to go to The Dance of the Scared Bird seems but a distant dream.

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3?In this version of the Cinderella story, a poor outcast Zuni girl who tends turkeys longs to attend the Dance of the Sacred Bird. Observing her suffering, the turkeys outfit her in a white doeskin dress adorned with rare shells, as well as turquoise necklaces and earrings, and silver bracelets. To prove that she remembers them, she promises to return from the dance "before Sun-Father returns to his sacred place." As in other retellings, she does not keep her word. At this point, the story diverges greatly from the version with which most American children will be familiar: when she finally returns home, the turkeys have abandoned her forever. As an author's note points out, the story symbolically reinforces the moral that "when we break our trust with Mother Earth, we pay a price." Pollock explains that she found this story in a collection of Zuni folktales collected by Frank Hamilton Cushing, but does not provide the source. Young's spare oil crayon and pastel illustrations contain almost elemental forms that sometimes merely suggest the objects they depict. The artist makes the most of the desert's dramatic lighting, creating shadowy backgrounds that draw attention to the story's spiritual underpinnings. While his palette jumps wildly from pale shades to the most vibrant pinks, blues, and golds of a vivid desert sunset, the illustrations do not detract from Pollock's thoughtful retelling, which itself gracefully captures the Zuni landscape. Unfortunately, many pages are difficult to read due to a lack of contrast between the illustrations and the words placed on top of them.?Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this sobering Native American variation of the Cinderella story, the focus is not on finding true love but on remaining true to one's promises. To repay the kindness of the poor orphan girl who tends them, the tribe's turkeys dress her in a fine doeskin robe so she can attend the Dance of the Sacred Bird. So enthralled is she with the dancing that she breaks her promise to return to the turkeys before dawn and consequently loses her friends forever. Pollock frequently interrupts the narrative with references to Zuni clothing and dwellings-the girl's yucca sandals, her "turquoise necklaces and earrings of delicate beauty." In contrast, Young's (Lon Po Po) characteristically abstract illustrations evoke the sunlight and heat of the pueblo villages with few visual clues about the story itself. Except for the heroine's beautiful face, the characters and setting are hazy shadows, often appearing simply as dark silhouettes. The reader never sees the celebrated gown, which is shrouded in a mantle; the dancers at the festival are barely visible smudges seen through the pueblo's doorways. Like the music of story hour radio shows, these illustrations set a mood, forcing the reader to fill in the visual details. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Pollock, Penny
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young (1996)
ISBN 10: 0316713147 ISBN 13: 9780316713146
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