Cover image for The Persian Cinderella
The Persian Cinderella
Climo, Shirley.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : HarperCollins, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A retelling of the traditional Persian tale in which Settareh, neglected and abused by her stepmother and stepsisters, finds her life transformed with the help of a little blue jug.
Reading Level:
"Age 5-9"--Bk. jacket.

AD 760 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 44067.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.8 2 Quiz: 13792 Guided reading level: J.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.C56 PE 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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"A luminescent interpretation. Meticulously researched illustrations faithfully depict the ornate beauty of an ancient land" (Kirkus Reviews).

In this jewel-like version of a classic story, popular folklorist Shirley Climo tells the tale of Settareh, the Persian Cinderella.

Magic enables Settareh to outsmart two jealous stepsisters and win the heart of a prince. But where most Cinderella stories end, poor Sattareh's troubles are only beginning! The unexpected plot twists will enchant readers as they rediscover the familiar tale in the lush setting of long-ago Persia.

Shirley Climo's authentic details bring the story to life, and Robert Florczak's stunning paintings echo the vibrant colors and motifs of an ancient land.

Author Notes

Shirley Climo was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1928. She attended DePauw University until her mother died unexpectedly in 1949. She dropped out of college and took up her mother's work writing scripts for the weekly WGAR-Radio children's program Fairytale Theatre. During her lifetime, she wrote 24 books including The Korean Cinderella; Magic and Mischief: Tales from Cornwall; A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World; A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World; and Someone Saw a Spider: Spider Facts and Folktales. She died on August 25, 2012 at the age of 83.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-9. Climo adds to her series of multicultural Cinderella books (The Korean Cinderella [1993]), once again choosing a version of the traditional story authentic to the culture. Here, the main character is named Settareh, and she has a star on her cheek. Instead of a fairy godmother, she has a pari (a kind of fairy) who lives in a blue jar; but when her jealous stepsisters use the pari against her, Settareh is turned into a turtledove. Persian stories are not as plentiful as those from other cultures, and though the pacing isn't as successful as other versions, the memorable details (such as the thousand matched pearls that shower upon the new couple once the spell is broken) more than make up for it. Florczak's illustrations are stunningly exotic and beautiful, with each fold of clothing, each reflection on a surface, and each leaf on a tree lovingly portrayed. The people look as lifelike as photographs, each face unique. A fine addition for any folktale collection. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

Climo's (The Egyptian Cinderella; The Irish Cinderlad) adaptation of this Arabian Nights myth offers a capricious twist on the Cinderella story. In preparation for a No Ruz (New Year) celebration at the Royal Palace, Settareh and her stepsisters go to the bazaar to choose cloth for gowns. Settarah, however, gives alms to a beggar and buys a curious blue jug instead. But inside the jug is a pari, or fairy, who grants her wish for a gown. She captures the attentions of the prince, and a lost diamond bangle fallen from her ankle provides the clue to her whereabouts. On the day of Settareh's anticipated wedding to the Prince, the jealous stepsisters seek vengeance and usurp the magical powers of the pari. They fasten Settareh's hair with enchanted hairpins to transform her into a turtledove. But Prince Mehrdad's affections remain steadfast, and it is he who breaks the spell. Historical details in both the verse and illustrations readily transport readers to 15th-century Persia. "Carpets woven in jewel like colors brightened the walls, and the scent of ginger and cinnamon from the Indies and perfumed oils from Egypt hung in the air." Pomegranate trees, jasmine flowers and other Persian botanicals adorn Florczak's (The Rainbow Bridge; Birdsong) effervescent landscapes framed with intricate borders. The characters, however, often appear to be pasted on, lending them a hyperrealistic quality. Still, the exotic setting and cultural details make this one of interest to any collector of Cinderella tales. Ages 5-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-After giving most of her money to a beggar, young Settareh spends her last coins on a cracked jug instead of purchasing fabric for a new dress to wear to the prince's celebrations. Resigned to remaining home, she discovers that the pot is inhabited by a pari that is able to grant her every wish. She attends the festival, catches the eye of the prince, leaves behind a diamond ankle bracelet, and is found by the queen. Settareh unwisely reveals the secret of the jug to her stepsisters, who steal it and instruct it to get rid of the young woman. The jug self-destructs, leaving behind six jeweled hairpins that, once placed in Settareh's hair, turn her into a turtledove. When the grieving prince befriends the bird, he finds the pins and pulls them out, thus restoring his beloved. The story is well told, although the drama, and hence the pace, is somewhat subdued. The narrative reads smoothly and majestically and Climo explains her choices in a source note. Florczak's sumptuous illustrations have jewel-like tones that glow against the brownline-paper background, and traditional designs decorate the text. The illustrations are realistic and appealing, although in one scene, Settareh is wearing a blue veil with her face exposed when the text specifies that she and the other women draped themselves in black to conceal their faces. Despite this minor flaw, this is a suitable complement to Climo's other "Cinderella" stories.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.