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Valerie Martinez
EDUC 325
Professor Naomi Watkins
Family Literacy Story Backpack Reflection
My idea for having my family literacy story backpack centered on the theme Cinderella
Stories Around the World actually came from one of the books that I included in this project that
I read when I was in third grade. This book was Damitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican
Tradition, and I remember it having such a profound effect on me because I grew up watching
Disneys portrayal of Cinderella, but I had no idea that so many other versions of this story
existed from different cultures all over the world. Being Mexican myself, I identified the most
with this version of the story because of my cultural background, and this got me wondering how
a simple story such as this one could be integrated and told through other cultures. For the most
part they each tell the story of a young girl or boy who is mistreated by family or community but
is eventually recognized and rewarded for goodness and virtue. Other common themes found are
the classic underdog story, rags to riches, love, and that beauty is found in the eye of the
beholder. There is a reason this story has over 900 versions, and it is one of the few tales that
transcends time and cultures.
The hardest part in creating this backpack was choosing which books to select, there are
so many versions! In the end I knew I would have to include the original story that most are
familiar with, the version that gave me the idea in the first place, and I wanted to make sure that I
included one that was different from the rest. In the end I placed Cinderella by Charles Perrault

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(his version was the one adapted by Disney), The Rough-Face Girl (Algonquin Indian folklore)
by Rafe Martin, Domitila adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn, and I even threw in another
version, The Turkey Girl (Zuni Indians legends) retold by Penny Pollock, just for fun. My theme
was successful and well liked from the feedback I got, and I really enjoyed putting everything
together. Although it took me quite a long time to come up with activities and questions to go
along with the readings, I tried to make sure that they were both educational and fun. There were
so many ideas that I had, but I tried to keep it simple and manageable for both parent and child.
As for revisions, I really tried to find a Cinderella story with a male lead character, but
due to time constraints and the shelves not being as organized as I wished them to be at the
library, I was unable to find one. I felt like three books was just not enough and limited me from
teaching the underlying objective. Given the chance to change this project, I would definitely
include at least 5 books so that there are more opportunities for the child to be immersed in
different cultures. Along with this, I would try to have each book come from a different continent
and have the parent and child mark them on a map that I would provide for them. All in all, I
couldnt be more proud of my theme and it in turn has allowed me to identify with different
cultures other than my own and marvel at the capabilities that literature can have on people and
the world.