Adelita is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story with a few refreshing twists. A long time ago in a Mexican village, there lived a young couple, Francisco and Adela Mercado. Sadly the young mother passes away soon after the birth of their daughter, Adelita. Francisco later marries Senora Micaela de la Fortuna, a cold-hearted widow with two daughters, Valentina and Dulce. Just like in Cinderella, the wicked stepmother and stepsisters treat Adelita harshly when the father is not around. Adelita must prepare all the meals, clean the rooms, and do all the hard work.
One day, a neighbor, Senior and Senora Gordillo, send an invitation - una fiesta en su hacienda – to a party at their ranch, to celebrate the homecoming of their son, Javier. Guess who doesn’t get to go? You won’t find the fairy godmother of the traditional tale, but a woman named Esperanza, the housekeeper who has taken care of the Mercado family for years. She waves no magic wand to turn a pumpkin into a carriage or rags into a ball gown. Instead Esperanza shows Adelita a locked trunk that holds a beautiful white dress and a rebozo – a shawl - once worn by her mother, Adela.
At the fiesta Adelita captures the heart of Javier, until she remembers she’s just the maid and runs away (at midnight, of course!). Beautifully illustrated with vibrant folk art from Mexico, this Cenicienta, or Cinderella, story is an enchanting read from the beginning…to the happily ever after.
For more fairy tales with a bit of a twist, read Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story and Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Tale from China (click on links below).