From Algonquin Indian folklore comes one of the most haunting, powerful versions of the Cinderella tale ever told.
In a village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived an invisible being. All the young women wanted to marry him because he was rich, powerful, and supposedly very handsome. But to marry the invisible being the women had to prove to his sister that they had seen him. And none had been able to get past the sister's stern, all-knowing gaze.
Then came the Rough-Face girl, scarred from working by the fire. Could she succeed where her beautiful, cruel sisters had failed?
In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, two domineering sisters set out to marry the ``rich, powerful, and supposedly handsome'' Invisible Being, first having to prove that they can see him. They cannot, but their mistreated younger sister the Rough-Face Girl--so called because the sparks from the fire have scarred her skin--can, for she sees his ``sweet yet awesome face'' all around her. He then appears to her, reveals her true hidden beauty and marries her. Shannon ( How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have? ) paints powerful, stylized figures and stirring landscapes, heightening their impact with varied use of mist, shadows and darkness. His meticulous research is evident in intricate details of native dress and lodging. In places, though, he struggles with the paradox of illustrating the invisible--an eagle, tree, cloud and rainbow form the face of the Invisible Being in one disappointingly banal image. For the most part, however, the drama of these haunting illustrations--and of Martin's ( Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake ) respectful retelling--produce an affecting work. Ages 4-8.