Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Thanks again, James Bridges for another re-told Cinderella story.

Coburn, J.R. (2000). Domitila: A Cinderella tale from the Mexican tradition. Auburn: Shen's books.

Domitlia is an example of Latino literature, which the title of the book gives this away. Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian in the Spanish culture Domitilia is what they use. This story appealed to me because of the title and the illustration on the title page and it keep me wondering what she looked like before. I wondered if the story would be anything like Cinderella. The age level for this book would be 6-12 years of age. My students would benefit greatly from reading this book because they would learn so much about the Mexican culture. I like how they used different words throughout the book to talk to each other in Spanish. That also helps the reader get a sense of understanding of the Spanish language. The book is filled with various illustrations of how Spanish people live.

Domitila is not only "sweeter than a cactus bloom in early spring," she is also a talented cook and an amazing leather artist. Most of the classical elements of a Cinderella story can be found in Domitila. A gentle weaving of her mother's nurturing with strong family traditions is the secret ingredient for Domitila to rise above hardship to eventually become the Governor's bride. Moreover, with a firm belief in simplicity and realism, Domitila makes a lasting impression as a triumphant Cinderella in her humility, service, and unassuming modesty.
With love and care in every stroke, McLennan captured on canvas the warmth of relationships, the fondness for color and texture, and the versatile patterns characteristic of the Mexican people. Readers will soon fall in love with the shimmering light of the desert landscape and this well-told story of Cinderella-with-a-twist.
The theme of this story is how a person can change over time and that goodness is always rewarded. Jewell Coburn does an excellent job adapting this tale from a traditional Mexican story that was supposedly passed down for generations in the Rivero family of Hidalgo, Mexico. This story was particularly fascinating because of the author's focus on the male figure and his character transformation. The illustrations portray the brilliant colors that are characteristic of the Mexican culture, and easily capture the reader’s attention. Many of the aspects of Domitila do not fall in line with the typical Cinderella story, yet this book gives the reader a glimpse of a realistic love story with some similarities between the well-know fairytale.  

The way that this book ties into a real life situation is that we should not judge a book by its cover. I always tell my students that you should not judge someone by their mistakes that they make because one day you my be in their shoes. Just like the governor did when he got mad about the food.

The Big Question?
How would you change after reading this book would you want to help out the others that need help?

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